8 large red potatoes (3-4 lbs) or
10-12 small to medium red potatoes
1 tbsp of dried thyme
1 tbsp of dried basil
1 head of flat leaf parsley
Salt and pepper and more for seasoning
3 whole large garlic heads (roasted, directions to follow)
2 medium white onions, chopped
1 12 oz. can of fresh corn kernels in water (drained)
3 cups chicken broth
2 cups of half and half
1 cup whole milk
1 large loaf of day old French bread
1/2 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
Several dashes of Louisiana hot sauce (Tabasco works too)
3 cups of sharp or mild cheddar cheese, shredded, reserve 1/2 cup for
1 lb. of smoky bacon, diced and fried crispy, reserve 1/4 cup for garnishing
To Make Parmesan Crotons:
Remove the crust of the French bread and cut up into 1 inch cubes (you can
leave the crust if you so desire). In a large enough bowl, toss the bread cubes
in 1/4 cup of good olive oil and add fresh parmesan cheese to coat. On a non
foiled cookie sheet, bake in 400 degree oven for 10 minutes stirring once. Be
careful because these will burn quite easily. Remove croutons and set aside
until cool. Seal them in plastic zip lock bag until ready for use.
To Make Roasted Garlic & Cheddar
Cheese & Corn Soup:
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place washed and whole potatoes in boiling
salted water for about 15 minutes (the peels will fall off or leave peels on if
you wish). Do not overcook or make the potatoes mushy. When potatoes cool, cut
them into large 1 inch cubes. At the same time, place the heads of garlic (with
top 1/4 of head cut off and the excess paper discarded) on a sheet of aluminum
foil. Sprinkle with dry thyme, salt, pepper and a good drizzle of olive oil.
Wrap up the heads loosely in the foil and bake in the pre-heated oven for 40 minutes.
Remove the garlic and set aside until cool. Squeeze out te roasted garlic
cloves into a bowl and mash slightly with the back of a fork or knife.
In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, heat2 tablespoons of olive oil and 2 tablespoons
of unsalted butter together. Add the diced onions and cook for 5 minutes
stirring constantly. Stir in the potatoes, chicken broth, corn, milk and half
and half. Stir gently. Simmer uncovered
for about 20 minutes or until the potatoes are "fork tender". During
the last 5 minutes of simmering, add in the cheddar cheese, the roasted garlic
and the smoky bacon. Stir well to incorporate.
Garnish the top of each serving bowl with the parmesan croutons, some
reserved cheddar cheese and decorate with the fresh parsley.
If you need to make your soup a
little thicker, mix together equal parts of butter and flour into a small
frying pan This will form a roux.
Stir and cook for about 5 minutes or until flour has been cooked out. Add a
tablespoon at a time to your soup to reach the desired consistency.