Green Garlic and Fresh Pea Soup Recipe
Spring into Summer with Green Garlic!
Green garlic is one of those special seasonal treats that I always look forward to. It starts coming off the California fields in early April, and that’s wonderful, but I am of course especially partial to the Washington crop. I love all kinds of garlic and have never been accused of using it sparingly, but I have a special fondness for these delicate young shoots.
Their subtle, sweet garlic flavor will, for a few weeks, transform all my dishes that would usually include the spicier mature variety. Incredibly mild and creamy, you can use a lot more of these tender bulbs than you would think. Plus, they practically melt when sautéed so you can treat them more like leeks.
- 6 cups chicken or vegetable stock
- 3 medium Yukon gold or russet potatoes, peeled and chopped
- ¾ lbs. green garlic, white part only, chopped
- 4 lbs. fresh peas, shelled to yield 4 cups
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- Chopped fresh chives (optional)
- Bring chicken stock to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat.
- Add potatoes to stock, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook until tender, about 10 minutes.
- Add green garlic; cook for 5 minutes.
- Add peas, increase heat to medium, and cook until just tender (to keep pea taste), about 5 minutes.
- Puree soup in blender or food processor and season with salt and pepper. Return briefly to heat or refrigerate and serve chilled.
- Garnish with chives (if using) just before serving.
Technically a by-product of crop thinning, these delicious young garlic bulbs are coveted by chefs and cooks in the know, and are increasingly grown with the express purpose of harvesting early. Often referred to as a “kinder, gentler” version of the adult, green garlic is prized for its ability to turn simple into sublime.
As with all fabulous produce, simple is where green garlic shines. Use it as a replacement for scallions and keep your ingredient list short. For a simple springtime dinner, that you can enjoy hot or cold as the weather dictates, try this luscious riff on vichyssoise. Or caramelize roughly chopped green garlic bulbs and toss with fresh pasta, butter and Parmigiano. Whatever you do, remember the season is incredibly short, so order first and ask questions later. You’ll have plenty of time to come up with ideas as you eagerly anticipate your next delivery.
Have you ever cooked with green garlic? What did you make, share in the comments below. Want to know more about green garlic, check out our post on green garlic’s health benefits.