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Keep warm with this easy broccoli and roasted garlic soup recipe

Keep warm with this easy broccoli and roasted garlic soup recipe
Broccoli and roasted garlic sou (Michael Robinson Chavez / Los Angeles Times)

Keep it simple for dinner tonight with this broccoli and roasted garlic soup recipe. The dish uses only a handful of ingredients — garlic, broccoli, butter, onion, potato and broth — along with a little oil and seasoning, but you'd never guess it from the soup's rich flavor. Best of all? Each serving clocks in at less than 150 calories.

The recipe calls for roasted garlic. If you've never roasted garlic, I can't emphasize enough how easy it is. Grab a whole head of garlic — or two, or three — next time you're at the market. Cut the top of the pointy tip off the garlic (no peeling necessary), just enough to expose the tips of the cloves. Place the garlic on a small sheet of foil with the cut end facing up. Drizzle a little olive oil over the cut end of the garlic head, and sprinkle a pinch each of salt and pepper. Wrap the garlic head in the foil. Place the garlic in the center of the oven (place the foil directly on the rack; you don't need to put it on a baking sheet) and roast at 325 degrees for about an hour, until the cloves have softened and that wonderful aroma is almost too much to bear. Still curious? Check out the video below:

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Los Angeles Times Test Kitchen director Noelle Carter shows how easy it is to roast garlic.

BROCCOLI AND ROASTED GARLIC SOUP

Total time: 1 hour, plus 45 minutes roasting time for the garlic | Serves 6 to 8

Note: Adapted from "Autumn Gatherings: Casual Food to Enjoy With Family and Friends" by Rick Rodgers. He notes, "Roasted garlic is a great thing to have in the refrigerator, ready to perk up your everyday cooking. I often take a few seconds to prepare a couple of heads and toss them in the oven when I am roasting something else. One autumn Saturday, when I wanted a warming soup after gardening, I made this soup from what was on hand, and now it's a staple."

1 large, plump head of garlic

Olive oil, for drizzling

Salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1 large bunch broccoli, about 1 3/4 pounds

2 tablespoons butter

1 medium onion, chopped

1 large baking potato, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces

6 cups chicken or vegetable broth

1. Heat the oven to 325 degrees. To roast the garlic, cut off the top one-half inch of the garlic head to make a "lid." Drizzle the cut surfaces with a little olive oil and season with a pinch each of salt and pepper. Replace the lid. Wrap the garlic in foil and place on a baking sheet. Roast until the garlic is tender and a rich golden color, about 1 hour. Unwrap and cool. The garlic can now be used for the soup, or wrapped in plastic and refrigerated until ready to use, up to 1 week.

2. Meanwhile, cut the florets from the broccoli stalks. Coarsely chop the florets, then peel and coarsely chop the stalks.

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3. In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter, then add the onion and cover with a lid. Cook, stirring often, until the onion is tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in the chopped broccoli and potato.

4. Add the broth and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low and partially cover the pot. Simmer until the potato is very tender, about 30 minutes. During the last 5 minutes, squeeze the roasted garlic into the pot, discarding the hulls. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

5. Puree the soup in batches using a blender, or in the pot using an immersion blender. Serve hot. This makes about 2 1/2 quarts soup.

Each of 8 servings: 132 calories; 5 grams protein; 18 grams carbohydrates; 5 grams fiber; 5 grams fat; 2 grams saturated fat; 8 mg. cholesterol; 334 mg. sodium.

Love cooking as much as I do? Follow me @noellecarter

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