When Michelin-star chef April Bloomfield stopped by the New Roots gardens in the Bronx, she was immediately drawn in by the scent of fresh garlic—perfect for a savory soup. But it was the community feel of New Roots that really inspired April, who was impressed by the "amazing veggies grown in amazing plots by fabulous people." You can watch April in the current season of PBS' The Mind of a Chef.
For the Soup:
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 medium-large Spanish onion (¾ pound), peeled, halved lengthwise, and thinly sliced
- 12 medium garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
- 3 teaspoons Maldon or another flaky sea salt
- 2½ pounds Yukon gold potatoes (4 large), peeled, cut into ½ inch dice/cubes, rinsed well
- 6 cups chicken stock
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
For the Garnish:
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 medium garlic cloves, peeled and very thinly sliced
- A big handful parsley (leaves and thin stems), very roughly chopped
- Maldon or another flaky sea salt
Make the Soup:
Heat the olive oil in a medium pot over medium heat until the pan warms up. Add the butter, onion, garlic, and 3 teaspoons Maldon salt, stir, cover the pot, and lower the heat to a gentle simmer. Cook, stirring now and again, until the onions are very soft and creamy but not colored at all, about 25 minutes.
Add the potatoes and the stock to the pot. Cover the pot and raise the heat to high to bring the liquid to a boil, then uncover the pot and lower the heat to maintain a steady simmer. Simmer until the potatoes are very soft, 20 to 25 minutes.
Once the potatoes are tender, add the cream and the black pepper. Allow everything to simmer together for 8 minutes, then purée.
Blend in two or three batches until the mixture is very smooth, adding each to a clean pot. When ready to serve, reheat it gently until hot.
Make the Garnish:
Heat the olive oil in a medium frying pan over high heat until it smokes lightly. Add the garlic and cook, shaking and swirling the pan, until it goes golden brown at the edges, about 1 minute. Add the parsley and a sprinkle of Maldon salt, stir, and cook until the parsley wilts and goes a bit crispy, about 1 minute.
Drain off the olive oil and sprinkle the garnish on top of the soup just before serving.
Yield: Twelve 8oz servings