Whole heads of garlic are roasted in the oven and then peeled and pureed to create a rich, velvety soup with an enticing flavor.
4 large heads garlic
3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
6 cups chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground white pepper
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 cup medium or whipping cream
Toasted croutons for garnish
Paprika for garnish
1. Remove any excess outer parchment from the garlic heads and place them in a lightly greased shallow pan. Roast in a 350° oven for 1 to 1-1/2 hours or until the cloves are tender when pierced. Set aside until cool enough to handle. Separate the cooled cloves and peel them.
2. Melt the butter in a large saucepan. Blend in the flour and stir over medium heat until the mixture foams. Stir in the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Stir in the salt, pepper, and thyme. Add the peeled garlic, cloves and reduce the heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes.
3. Transfer to the container of a blender or processor and whirl until smooth. Return to the saucepan and blend in the cream. Place over medium heat and warm gently, but do not allow the soup to boil. Ladle into soup bowls and garnish generously with croutons and paprika.