Thursday, April 8, 2010

Green Garlic Soup

Green garlic is one of the great pleasures of springtime.

This time of year, as the pollen clogs the air and nature full-on blooms (in Los Angeles, it's like a tropical jungle this year due to all our rain), you'll find green garlic lurking at your farmers market.  When I spot it, I do one of my excited vegetable dances and scoop up several large bunches.  While I'm sure all of you are familiar with regular garlic, probably not so much with the green stuff.  It's just immature garlic, harvested before the cloves have formed.  Green garlic looks kind of like a large scallion (click here for pictures) and has a slightly sweeter taste than regular garlic. 

My favorite thing to do is to transform green garlic into a wonderful soup!  It's actually a very simple recipe, almost peasant-like, but powerfully flavorful and showcases the green garlic in all its culinary glory.  To add to the rustic appeal, I left the skins partially on the potatoes (this is also where many nutrients are).  I made this for a casual Friday night supper along with a homemade pizza (whole wheat crust, asparagus, red pepper, prosciutto and fresh buffalo mozzarella).

I love this soup so much, I just might have to make it again next week, after I get back from San Francisco (can't wait!).  So give it a try!

Green Garlic Soup
Serves 4-6 people
Cooking time: 40 minutes

6 green garlic bulbs, bulbs and tender green parts chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 yellow onion, peeled and chopped   
4 cups chicken stock
4 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, half-peeled and chopped
salt and pepper

In a heavy-bottomed pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat.  Add the onion and the green garlic and saute until softened (about 5-7 minutes).  Then, add the potatoes and the chicken stock.  Simmer for about 30 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. Remove from heat.

Once the soup is cool enough to handle, working in batches, puree it to a nice consistency.  For a more rustic soup, you can skip this step, or go for a less smooth puree.  Season to taste with sale and pepper.

To serve, ladle some soup into a bowl.  Drizzle with olive oil and top with fresh cracked pepper.  If desired, sprinkle with a little chopped parsley.  Enjoy!

Source For Ingredients
organic green garlic, organic onion and organic Yukon Gold potatoes from Hollywood Farmers Market

organic chicken stock and organic olive oil from Whole Foods

Wine Pairing
With this meal (green garlic soup & homemade pizza), we drank a bottle of Blackbird 2004 Proprietary Red (a blend of 95% merlot and 5% cabernet sauvignon), which had been in our cellar for some time.  Until 2004, Blackbird vineyards only sold grapes to top Napa producers, and when you taste this wine, you can tell why.  Wonderful fruit in this wine (plum, black cherry) with a long tannic finish--a very Pomerol-ish wine.

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