Soup This is a simple, but comforting and very “garlicky” soup, perfect for cool weather.

3 heads garlic
1 cup dry navy beans
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 quarts vegetable stock (or, alternatively, chicken stock)
1/2 tbsp all-purpose flour
2 tbsp minced dill
1 small onion, diced
salt and pepper to taste

1. Rinse the navy beans thoroughly, then soak in cool water for 8 hours or overnight. When the soaking begins, the water should cover the beans by about 2 inches.

2. Preheat the oven to 400 F. Slice each garlic head in half cross-wise without peeling. Place the halves sliced side down into an ovenproof dish and add half of the oil. Roast the garlic for about 45 minutes, then let cool to room temperature. Squeeze the cloves of roasted garlic from their peelings (they should come out easily), discard the peelings, and puree or mash the garlic together with the oil in which it was roasted.

3. Drain the soaked beans. Bring vegetable stock to a boil and add the beans. Reduce the heat, cover, and let simmer gently for 1.5 hours.

4. Heat the remainder of the oil in a skillet and saute the onions until golden-brown, about 25 minutes. Reduce the heat, sprinkle the onion with flour and cook, stirring, until a yellowish roux forms. (Add a little more oil if necessary.) Gradually stir approximately 1 cup of vegetable stock into the roux (never ever EVER add roux to liquid), until a thick sauce forms, then add the sauce with the onions to the beans.

5. Stir the garlic paste into the soup, adjust the seasonings, and let simmer, covered, for 15 more minutes.

6. Stir in the dill and let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

7. Garnish with sour cream, if desired.