We have been experiencing an Indian Summer here in the Sierra Foothills these last couple of weeks, but with the leaves falling all around, I am starting to crave soup! This soup is light and hearty at the same time with the rich taste of roasted garlic underpinning all of the other flavors. The bacon adds a smokiness, the chard lends the healthy greens element and the parmesan adds the cheese-y taste we all love. Once you have the garlic roasted (you can even do the day before), this soup goes together quickly and makes a nice light lunch or comforting dinner with a simple salad and a loaf of good bread. Happy Fall y'all!
Creamy Roasted Garlic Soup with Bacon and Chard
4 heads garlic
2 T olive oil
8 oz bacon, chopped and fried until crisp, set aside
1 yellow onion, chopped coarsely
1 russet potato, peeled and cut into 1" dice (optional but t thickens the soup nicely)
4 c chicken stock
1/2 c grated parmesan cheese plus more for serving
1 c heavy cream
1 bunch swiss chard or kale, stripped from the stems and coarsely chopped
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cut the tops off of the garlic heads, drizzle with the olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Wrap each head in foil and place on a baking sheet. Roast for 45 minutes until the cloves are soft, let cool. When cooled, press the garlic out of the skins and set aside. Fry the bacon pieces (I used a pot deep enough to hold the soup) until crisp, reserve for later. Pour out all but 2 T of bacon grease and add the onions and potato to the pan. Sauté until they start to caramelize, about 10 minutes. Add the chicken stock and roasted garlic. Purée with an immersion blender in the pot or transfer to a blender and blend until smooth. Return to the pot, if using a blender and add the cream, parmesan and chard. Cook until the chard is soft. Check for salt and pepper. Serve in bowls with the bacon and more parmesan on top.
As a caterer for over 30 years, I have established a reputation for consistently creating original menus inspired by the occasion and the season, presenting them with an ease and elegance uniquely my own. Fresh, locally-sourced ingredients are the basis of my creative “from scratch” menus, which range from the classically elegant to rustic and whimsical.
"Love your recipes! Pat made your avocado toast a few weeks ago, delish! I'm taking them to a party in a few weeks, although the mushroom crostata looks pretty darn good!"