We finally have warm, sunny weather, and... I decide to make soup. (Sounds strange - even to me!) To be fair, this is a light soup and makes a perfect lunch when pared with a mixed greens salad.
I've been waiting to make this soup since I bought Super Natural Cooking last fall. Garlic scapes are only around for a week or two in the Spring... and since our Spring has been so cold and wet, they only just arrived!
I love the hot summer sun. I feel energized and excited about so many things. Plus, I start to crave really simple, fresh foods. I had the most fantastic summer salad today at Kings Wine Bar that was mixed greens, strawberries, blackberries, and walnuts tossed in a light vinaigrette with a couple thin slices of brie on the side. Simple and divine.
At a recent party, I brought some really simple appetizers. One version had a mint leaf, cucumber, green olive, and marinated feta on the spear. These were good, but not great. And they were a pain. The feta cheese was perpetually crumbling off of its spear. They were more trouble than they were worth.
The caprese salad on a spear, on the other hand, was fantastic and super easy. In a bowl, I added an equal number of fresh mozzarella mini balls, cherry tomatoes, and basil leaves. I drizzled in some olive oil and sprinkled in salt and pepper. After tossing well to coat all the ingredients, I threaded one basil leaf, one tomato, and one mozzarella ball onto a spear. Done and delicious.
This Garlic Scape Soup echos the simple and easy theme. And it can easily be made vegan by omitting the optional dash of cream. The soup will still dazzle your taste buds.
Garlic scapes are part of the same garlic plant that produces garlic bulbs. Most gardeners cut off the garlic scape because then the plant can focus on growing awesome garlic. Garlic scapes are much more mild than garlic cloves and have an amazing fresh flavor that the cloves lack. If you see them at your farmer's market, scoop them up! You won't be disappointed.
Garlic Scape Soup
4 servings, 35 minutes
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 dozen garlic scapes, chopped
2 medium russet potatoes, scrubbed and cubed
2 1/2 cups water
1 vegetable bouillon cube (I used Rapunzel's No Salt Added)
1 handful spinach
salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons (or a splash) of heavy cream (optional)
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic scapes and cook for a couple of minutes. Add the potatoes, water, and bouillon cube. Bring to a boil and stir to dissolve the bouillon cube. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook, covered, for about 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are cooked.
- Add the spinach to the pot, but don't stir it in. Cover again and let the spinach steam for a couple of minutes. When the spinach is wilted, stir into the soup.
- Puree the soup using a hand blender until blissfully smooth. We don't want chunks in this soup.
- Stir in the juice from the lemon, salt, pepper, and cream (if using). Taste, and add more salt and pepper until the flavors shine. Enjoy! (Try to save some for the next day - the soup gets even better!)