Cut off all but 1 inch of fresh beet stems and roots; wash beets. Do not peel. In a large covered saucepan, cook beets in boiling salted water for 35 to 45 minutes or until tender. Drain and cool slightly. Slip skins off beets and dice beets.
In the saucepan, cook garlic in olive oil over medium heat about 1 minute. Add potato; cook and stir for 5 minutes. Add diced beets and chicken broth. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
Transfer half of the mixture at a time to a blender or food processor (process in smaller batches if using a small food processor). Cover and blend or process until smooth. Return pureed mixture to the saucepan; heat through. Season to taste with salt and pepper to taste. Ladle into bowls. If desired, garnish each serving with a halved baby beet. Makes 6 side-dish servings.