Celebrate the culture of agriculture & share skills (Growing! Cooking! Eating!)

Warning: Unlike most of the Martha Stewart empire, this week’s recipe, from a back issue of Living, is NSFW—or dates, either, for that matter. Made with 40-something cloves of garlic, it’s no shrinking violet, although you might cause a few petals to drop after a bowl or two of this pungent stuff. But what it lacks in breath enhancement it makes up for in richness, creaminess, and tanginess—a real eye-opener on a grey winter day and a much more complex flavor than plain old potato soup. Just consider yourself warned and keep a toothbrush handy.

Makes about 6 bowls

» 2 garlic bulbs, cloves separated but not skinned; plus 2 more cloves, skinned and thinly sliced
» 1 large russet potato, peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes
» 1 yellow onion, peeled and cut into 1-inch wedges
» 4 to 6 fresh sage leaves
» 1 Tbsp extravirgin olive oil, plus 1 ½ tsp
» 1 ½ tsp salt
» freshly ground pepper
» 1/3 cup sherry
» 3 ½ cups chicken or veggie stock
» 1 tsp fresh lemon juice

Preheat oven to 400. Toss whole garlic cloves, potato, onion, sage, 1 Tbsp oil, 1 tsp salt, and some pepper in a large ovenproof skillet. Cover and transfer to oven. Roast, stirring occasionally, 30 minutes.

While the veggies are roasting, make the garnish: Add remaining 1 ½ tsp oil and sliced garlic to a small skillet or saucepan. Cook over low, swirling occasionally, until garlic is browned but not burned, about 20 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer garlic slices to paper towels to drain.

Remove the large skillet from the oven and stir in 1/3 cup water. Cover, return to oven, and continue roasting until garlic and onion are very soft, about 20 minutes. When done, remove skillet from oven, transfer garlic cloves to a plate, and let cool slightly; then squeeze garlic from skins into the skillet.

Heat skillet over medium-high. Add sherry and cook, scraping up any browned bits, about 1 minute. Add stock and ½ cup water and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.

At this point, you can either blend the soup in a blender or a food processor, or you can use an immersion blender. I opted for the latter. I skipped the next step—pressing the soup through a sieve—and while I liked the all-out garlic flavor, straining would add some, well, restraint. Either way, you’ll want to bring the soup back to low heat, stir in the lemon juice, the remaining ½ tsp salt, and pepper to taste. Ladle into bowls and garnish with the sliced fried garlic.

Eat, brush, then breathe again in public. Enjoy!

With many farm shares winding down for the season, we’ve put the CSA Cookoff to bed for the year. Look for it again in late spring, sprouting along with the arugula and asparagus. In the meantime, meet HOME Cooked, a winter-friendly recipe file that revels in the earthier corners of the fridge and the pantry. Think root veggies and baked goods. We’ll post a recipe each week, featuring dishes from you. Don’t be shy. Share the goods. Especially the baked goods.

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