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Garlic and Sweet Potato Soup

1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
3 medium leeks, trimmed and coarsely chopped
1 large head garlic, cloves separated and peeled
3 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
8 to 10 cups chicken stock or water
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh chives

In a large heavy pot heat 3 tablespoons oil and saute the leeks
until tender, about 5 to 8 minutes. Reserve 3 large cloves of the
garlic. Add the remaining garlic and sweet potatoes to the pot and
stir to combine. Add enough chicken stock or water to barely cover
the vegetables. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil,
reduce heat and simmer until the sweet potatoes are very tender
about 20 to 30 minutes.

Cut the reserved 3 cloves of garlic into very thin slices. In a
small skillet heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil and cook the
sliced garlic until golden. Transfer garlic chips to paper towels
to drain.

In a blender puree the soup, in batches, until smooth and transfer
to another pot. Taste soup and adjust seasoning if necessary. Return
soup to a simmer. Ladle soup into serving bowls and garnish with
garlic chips, crumbled feta cheese and chives.

Yield: 6 servings


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