Originally posted in December 2012, I've updated this post and recipe with new photos and useful tips.
This simple creamy garlic soup is vegan and is easy to whip together with simple ingredients. Definitely pungent, but in all the good ways.
I am certain this is my Polish grandfather's recipe. While he never made anything like this for me, he definitely would have busted this out when kids were sick. This is just his style. Simple, hearty, easy ingredients. Packed full of garlic.
And powerful. Grampa believed in the power of food. This soup will heal colds, flu, and fever. At least it will warm and comfort you when your feeling under the weather.
Garlic is incredibly immune boosting. A powerful herb, full of antioxidants and wellness-boosting properties. And in this soup, there is a bunch of it. A whole head of garlic. For real!
The garlic flavor here is strong but mellowed from the slow simmering. Still, if you are not a garlic fan you probably want to try something tamer. Try this sweet carrot soup instead.
How to make vegan garlic soup
I think what I like best about this soup is that is so basic. Start with onions, carrots, and celery and saute until they begin to soften. Not brown. Just started to wilt a bit.
Add in the potatoes and garlic and saute some more. I like to reduce to heat here a little so the garlic does not burn.
Did you know? Burnt garlic is bitter. Don't burn the garlic.
Use fresh garlic here for the best flavor. This is not the time to use up that old head of garlic you have sitting at the bottom of the garlic bowl that is all dried up and rubbery. Garlic is cheap, so go buy fresh, tight heads of garlic.
After that, add your stock and some water, enough water to measure about 6 cups and bring to a boil. Then reduce heat, cover and simmer about 30 minutes. Potatoes should soft enough to squish when you push on them with a spoon. Then just puree.
A few more tips
This is a pureed soup, so don't worry too much about how nicely you have chopped the veggies before you throw them into the pot. My son did the chopping, it was not pretty. But it didn't matter.
I like my immersion blender for pureeing the soup. Its an inexpensive kitchen tool that I find I'm reaching for more often. It makes cleanup easier.
If you don't have an immersion blender, a standard blender or food processor will also work. Just work in batches and be careful to vent the blender jar (processor bowl) and cover the vent with a kitchen towel to avoid steam burns.
The soup requires a generous amount of salt. If you are using homemade stock, you may need to add a bit more salt. My homemade stock is fairly low on the salt scale. A store-bought variety will not need nearly as much. However, I like to use low-sodium vegetable stock when I cook so I can control the salt in my recipes.
Crusty bread or croutons are required. The best part of this soup is that slightly soggy bread you just dipped into the soup. 🙂
Cream of Garlic and Potato Soup
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 yellow onion peeled and chopped
- 1 small carrot peeled and chopped
- 1 celery stalk chopped
- 2 lbs potatoes russet or Yukon gold potatoes, peeled, chopped
- Cloves from a whole head of garlic yes, all of it, separated into cloves and peeled
- 6-7 cups of liquid I highly recommend several cups of a good quality vegetable stock plus water to make the required amount
- 1 teaspoon of dried thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- salt and pepper to taste
- finely chopped green onion, chives or red onion for serving
- Heat olive oil in a large sauté or soup pot over medium heat. Add onion, carrot, and celery. Saute about 5 minutes as the vegetables start to become fragrant and tender. Reduce heat and add garlic, potatoes and continue to saute for several additional minutes. Onion will become soft. Add stock and water, thyme and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Add some salt and pepper. Slightly cover, and simmer until all the vegetables are very tender, about 30 minutes.
- Remove the soup from the heat. Using a blender or an immersion blender puree the soup in batches. Careful to vent the blender lid to allow steam to escape.
- Return to pot and bring up to serving temperature. Check for seasonings. Serve with chopped onions and crusty bread for dipping.