1 hour, plus 45 minutes roasting time for the garlic
6 to 8
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
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 400 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 45 minutes. 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.
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.