Cut off the top quarter of the garlic heads - discard. Set the bottoms, cut side up, on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Drizzle the garlic heads with the olive oil. Wrap the foil around the garlic, sealing the top. Bake at 350°F for 1 hour. Remove from oven and let cool.
When cool, remove any papery skin and squeeze out the soft garlic pulp into a bowl. Set aside.
In a saucepan, in boiling water, cook red potato until fork-tender. Drain and set aside.
Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add chopped shallots. Saute until softened.
Stir buttermilk and whipping cream into saucepan. Bring just to a boil.
Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes, uncovered. Remove from heat and let stand too cool.
In a food processor
, or with a stick blender
, process garlic, buttermilk mixture and potato until smooth. Return mixture to saucepan and stir in salt and minced thyme. Cook over medium heat until heated through.
For serving, garnish with freshly ground pepper, croutons, and fresh thyme sprigs.
Makes 3 c.
Adapted from The Ultimate Southern Living Cookbook