Potato soup can be the humblest of dishes, but the
addition of caviar elevates it to an elegant dinner dish. Salmon
roe would also work well; for a more everyday touch of luxury, add
a poached egg instead.
4heads of garlic2tbsp olive oil20 gmbutter, coarsely chopped1leek, thinly sliced1 litre (4 cups)chicken stock750 gmfloury potatoes, such as King Edward, peeled and cut into rough 2.5cm dice3thyme sprigs100 gmcrème fraîche, plus extra to serveCaviar and finely grated lemon rind, to serveHerb toast2 tspeach very finely chopped flat-leaf parsley, dill and chivesFinely grated rind of ½ lemon8thick slices soft white bread50 gmbutter, melted
Preheat oven to 180C. Reserve 2 garlic cloves from a head of garlic, then wrap each garlic head individually in foil and roast until very tender (30-40 minutes). Cool, then squeeze cloves from skins and reserve.
Heat oil and butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat, add leek and sauté until tender and translucent (4-5 minutes). Meanwhile, finely chop reserved raw garlic, add to pan and sauté until fragrant (1 minute). Add stock, potato and thyme, season to taste, then bring to a simmer. Half-cover saucepan with a lid and simmer until potato is tender (20-25 minutes). Add roast garlic and continue to simmer to combine flavours (8-10 minutes), then discard thyme. Add crème fraîche and blend with a hand-held blender (or in batches in a food processor) until very smooth, then check seasoning.
For herb toast, preheat grill to high. Combine herbs and lemon rind in a bowl and season to taste. Cut a 7cm round from the centre of each bread slice (reserve offcuts for breadcrumbs or another use), then place rounds on a baking tray and grill, turning once, until toasted (1-2 minutes). Brush half of each round with butter on both sides and press into the herb mixture to coat, shaking off excess.
Ladle the soup into warm bowls and top with a little extra crème fraîche and a spoonful of caviar. Scatter with extra lemon rind, season to taste and serve hot with warm herb toast.