Soup with garlic scapes? Of course! You can make a lovely soup that features garlic scapes and green garlic. This makes a delicate soup that’s unexpectedly mild, and reminiscent of a creamy asparagus soup. Don’t be afraid of the scapes!
Garlic scapes are only available for a week or two in spring, when farmers snip off what would become the flower stems of the plant (they want the plant’s energy to go into producing bulbs, not flowers!) Green garlic – young bulbs of garlic with the leaves still attached – are likewise only available in spring. You might call this an essence of spring soup.
This recipe is adapted from Melissa Clark’s 2008 recipe published in the New York Times. If you don’t happen to have green garlic, you can use ordinary garlic cloves, and toss in something very green like arugula or spinach for the color.
An important note on salt: a teaspoon of your salt might taste much saltier than mine. I use Diamond Crystal kosher salt in my kitchen. If you use Morton’s, use only half the amount, and, always, check the taste.
Double Garlic Soup
- 3 bulbs green garlic or use 3 cloves garlic
- 3 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1½ tsp fresh thyme leaves
- 1 tsp kosher salt [Diamond Crystal]
- ground black pepper to taste
- 1 large Yukon Gold potato, peeled & diced
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 1 cup half and half
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 handful arugula or spinach [optional]
- Slice the garlic scapes; your 3/4 pound will give about 3 cups sliced scapes. Trim the root and green part of the green garlic, and remove the outermost layers, then chop it finely. **If you don’t have green garlic, mince 3 cloves ordinary garlic, and later in the cooking time, toss in a nice handful of arugula or spinach to enhance the green color.
- In a medium to large saucepan, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add green garlic (or ordinary minced garlic) and sauté until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the sliced garlic scapes, thyme, salt and pepper, and sauté for 5 minutes.
- Stir in diced potato and broth, reduce heat to medium, and simmer until scapes and potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes. If you’re amping up the green color, then toward the end of this 20 minutes, add arugula or spinach.
- When the potatoes are tender and any greens are wilted, add half-and-half, and purée the soup. I find that a high speed blender (Vitamix or similar) will give the most velvety texture, but an immersion blender or traditional blender will do, as long as you’re careful with hot liquids.
- Stir in the lemon juice and season with more salt and pepper. Garnish with nutmeg and thyme sprigs, and serve hot.