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.
- 4 heads of garlic
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 20 gm butter, coarsely chopped
- 1 leek, thinly sliced
- 1 litre chicken or vegetable stock (4 cups)
- 750 gm floury potatoes, such as King Edward, peeled and cut into rough 2.5cm dice
- 3 thyme sprigs
- 100 gm crème fraîche, plus extra to serve
- Caviar and finely grated lemon rind, to serve
- 2 tsp each very finely chopped flat-leaf parsley, dill and chives
- Finely grated rind of ½ lemon
- 8 thick slices soft white bread
- 50 gm butter, melted
- 1Preheat 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.
- 2Heat 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.
- 3For 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.
- 4Ladle 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.
Drink Suggestion: Bone-dry fino sherry Drink suggestion by Max Allen