5 or 6 heads garlic
1 Tbs. butter
2 carrots, finely chopped
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
1 tsp white pepper, or to taste
6 cups chicken broth
3 slices of a loaf of french bread
(or sourdough-whole wheat bread if you want a more substantial, rustic soup)
1/2 cup cream or half 'n' half
1/4 cup cream (sweet) sherry, or to taste
nutmeg

Heat oven to 375. Cut the tops off the head of 3 heads garlic, then wrap well in foil. Roast until soft and golden, about 1 hour. Set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, melt butter in soup-pot over medium heat. Add carrots, and celery. Cook, stirring often, until vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes. Add stock; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until stock is flavorful, about 30 minutes. Strain soup (but let cool before pouring into any glass bowl), pressing down on solids. Discard solids, return liquid to pot.

Separate and peel garlic cloves from remaining three heads of garlic. Add to stock and simmer 45 minutes, until cloves are soft. Meanwhile, squeeze the soft garlic out of the previously baked garlic heads. Blend about 1/2 of stock, all the garlic, and white bread in food processor (or with an immersion blender) until smooth. Return to heat; simmer. Add water or chicken broth to achieve the consistency you desire. Then add cream and sherry, and adjust seasoning, adding some nutmeg. Note: Do not let soup boil after adding cream.

Serve this lovely soup as an appetizer, or as a meal with the leftover bread and a good green salad.

(courtesy Startha Mewart, but simplified by yours truly)

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