In these freezing temperatures, a comforting bowl of soup takes some beating and particularly when it can be thrown together with ingredients you might already have handy. Don't let the amount of garlic put you off as its flavour really mellows when it's cooked slowly (and it's so healthy). This recipe was originally taken from Sainsbury's Magazine.
3 onions, peeled and chopped
2 bay leaves
2 sprigs thyme
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 whole garlic bulb, peeled and roughly chopped
2 large potatoes peeled and diced
1 litre vegetable or chicken stock (or water)
200ml double cream (I didn't include this as it tasted creamy enough)
freshly ground black pepper
4 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced thinly
thyme leaves (optional)
In a saucepan, in 40g of the butter and the olive oil cook the onions, bay leaves and thyme until the onion is soft, but not coloured – this takes about 10 minutes. Add the chopped garlic, stir, cover and cook for another 10 minutes, checking from time to time to make sure it doesn't burn. Add the potatoes, stir together and cook for 5 minutes before adding the stock (or water). Bring to the boil and cook, partially covered for 20 minutes or until everything is soft.
Add the cream (if desired) and the remaining butter. Liquidise with a hand blender until velvety smooth, taste and season with salt and pepper. For the garnish, warm the oil and fry the sliced garlic until pale golden brown and crisp; you can include some more thyme if you like.
Serve with crusty bread, relax and enjoy.