Caramelized Onion, Roasted Garlic and Pink Potato Soup

Obviously, you don’t need to use pink potatoes, but they certainly made the soup rather pretty!  This recipe was adapted from one of my favorite cookbooks by Mollie Katzen, The Moosewood Cookbook.

4 tbsp butter (or olive oil for vegans!)
4 large yellow onions (thinly sliced)
1 tsp salt
3-4 medium sized potatoes (halved length-wise and thinly sliced)
1 bulb garlic
1 large fennel bulb (chopped)
1 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1 tsp fennel seeds
4-5 cups vegetable stock
chopped scallion (optional)
sprigs of fennel bulb (optional)

1) Roast the garlic a little bit ahead of time.  Cut of about the top 1/4 inch from the heads of the garlic bulb to expose cloves. Place garlic cut-side up in small baking dish. Drizzle oil over the exposed cloves. Bake until garlic skins are golden brown and cloves are tender, about 40-50 minutes. (Maybe a chance to prepare a nice arugula salad?) Cool the garlic. Squeeze garlic cloves from skins.
2) While the garlic finishes roasting, melt the butter or olive oil in a large pot. Cook the onions and add 1 tsp of salt over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until onions are extremely soft and dark-colored. If you feel that the onions are sticking to the bottom of the pan too much, add a very small amount of broth or dry white wine to the pan and stir vigorously.
3) Add the potatoes, the minced fennel bulb, the fennel seeds. Saute over medium heat for another 3-5 minutes, then add roasted garlic. Saute for another minute.  Add vegetable broth and bring to a boil, then partially cover, and simmer until the potatoes are tender (at least 15 minutes).
4) Add pepper and salt, to taste.
5) Ladle into soup bowls and dress up with chopped scallions and springs from the fennel bulb.

I served this with a local hard garlic goat cheese from our favorite vendor’s at the farmer’s market (R&G Cheesemakers) and a loaf of “Paul’s” homemade sourdough bread.  Delicious!

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