1 head of garlic 2-1/2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided 1 large onion, chopped Salt and freshly ground black pepper 2-1/4 lbs. Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes 4 cups vegetable stock 1 cup half n half 1/2 cup Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, grated Hot red pepper flakes 1 cup sliced shiitake mushrooms 1 cup chopped kale 1 Tablespoon fresh rosemary, coarsely chopped 2 Tablespoons pine nuts
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Cut about 1/4 inch off the top of the head of garlic exposing the cloves slightly. Place the head of garlic in the center of a square sheet of aluminum foil and drizzle with olive oil. Fold up the sides of the foil and place the garlic package in the oven. Roast the garlic for about 45 minutes. Remove the garlic from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes. Squeeze to extract the pulp. You will use 1/2 this pulp for this recipe. Reserve the remaining roasted garlic for another time (it will save for quite some time in the refrigerator).
Heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium high heat. Add 3/4 of the chopped onion to the pan and saute for about 5 minutes or until tender. Add the potato and saute for 2 minutes. Add the broth and bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes or until the potatoes are very tender. Transfer the potato mixture to a blender or food processor (you may have to do this in batches). Process until smooth. Return the processed mixture to the Dutch oven. Stir in the half n half and 2 oz. of the Parmigianno Reggiano cheese. Adjust seasonings to taste with salt, freshly ground black pepper and hot red pepper flakes. Keep warm over low heat.
Heat 1-1/2 teaspoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the remaining 1/2 cup onion and saute until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the shiitake mushrooms; saute for 3 minutes or until just tender. Remove pan from heat and set aside.
Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add the kale and cook for 4 minutes. Remove 1/4 cup cooking liquid and set aside. Drain the kale. Place the kale, reserved cooking liquid rosemary, 1 oz Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and pine nuts in a food processor and process until finely ground. With the machine on, gradually add 1 tablespoon olive oil through the food chute, processing until combined.
To serve, ladle the potato soup into shallow soup bowls and top with 1 tablespoon mushrooms and a spoonful of kale pesto. Sprinkle with remaining Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and serve.