Peel and cube 2 of the potatoes. Cube remaining 2 potatoes, leaving the skin on. Place peeled potatoes on one side of a baking sheet and the unpeeled potatoes on the other side. Sprinkle onion and rosemary evenly over all. Peel away the dry outer leaves of skin from bulb of garlic. Leave skins of cloves intact. Snip off the pointed top with scissors, leaving the bulb intact, but exposing the cloves. Place the garlic bulb, cut side up, on top of the potatoes. Drizzle olive oil over all. Bake, covered with foil, in a 375-degree oven for about 45 minutes or until garlic cloves feel soft. Remove garlic and foil and continue cooking until potatoes are soft and lightly browned. Cool slightly.
Squeeze the garlic bulb to remove the paste from the cloves.
In a blender or food processor bowl, combine the garlic paste, cooked peeled potatoes, about half the onion, half the chicken broth, all of the flour, and pepper. Cover and blend until nearly smooth.
Pour the pureed mixture into a medium saucepan. Stir in the cooked unpeeled potato, remaining onion, broth and half-and-half. Cook and stir over medium heat until slightly thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir for one minute more. If necessary, stir in additional half-and-half or chicken stock to make the soup the desired consistency. To serve, ladle into soup bowls. If desired, top each serving with croutons and a sprig of rosemary.
Makes 5 cups.
Questions? Email Julie Levanway.
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