Make the soup: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic and 1 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Add the chicken broth, 3 cups water, the potato and the parmesan rind. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and add to the pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the chicken is cooked through, about 15 minutes. Remove the chicken to a plate using tongs and let cool.
Meanwhile, make the croutons: Combine the mayonnaise, grated parmesan, lemon juice, anchovies, hot sauce, garlic, a few grinds of pepper and 1 tablespoon water in a blender or food processor; puree until smooth.
Cut the baguette in half lengthwise, then slice into 1/2-inch-thick pieces. Arrange on a baking sheet and brush with the mayonnaise mixture, reserving 2 tablespoons for topping. Sprinkle with the parsley, lemon zest and more parmesan; bake until golden, about 10 minutes.
Add the lettuce and heavy cream to the pot and cook until the lettuce is tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Discard the parmesan rind. Transfer the soup to a blender and puree until smooth. Return to the pot and season with salt and pepper. Shred the chicken and add it to the soup; heat through over medium heat. Divide among bowls, drizzle with the reserved mayonnaise mixture and top with the croutons and more pepper.
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Photograph by Johnny Miller
When blending hot liquid, first let it cool for five minutes or so, then transfer it to a blender, filling only halfway. Put the lid on, leaving one corner open. Cover the lid with a kitchen towel to catch splatters, and pulse until smooth.
Courtesy of Food Network Magazine
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