Monday, May 16, 2011

Cream of Green Garlic and Potato Soup – The Young and the Cloveless

I use so much regular garlic that to see the plant in its premature form always fills me with wonder and excitement. To think that these tender, scallion-like bulbs will eventually divide themselves into all those neat, paper-wrapped cloves fascinates me every time. Yes, I’m easily fascinated.

Green garlic, as I’ve come to learn relatively late in life, makes one hell of a good soup. Its flavor, once simmered slowly with potatoes and a bit of pork, is somewhere right in the middle between raw garlic and sweet caramelized onions. 

The role of pork in this soup is being played by chopped-up prosciutto scraps, who you may remember from such productions as Roasted Asparagus with Prosciutto and Poached Egg. It did a fabulous job, but even the most novice soup maker could figure out how to substitute ham or bacon. 

There are no secret tips or tricks here; this is about as simple a soup as you could ask for. As you’ll see in the video, we only pureed the large chucks, so this rustic soup had a little bit of texture to it. For me, this isn’t a soup that should be completely smooth. Like thornless roses, or radio-edit rap, it’s just not as interesting like that.

We still have more than a few chilly spring days ahead, so head out to the farmers market, or better produce markets, and grab some green garlic, so you can enjoy this fine soup. If you can’t find it, use leeks or green onions with some regular garlic instead. I hope you give this a try soon. Enjoy!

1 tbsp olive oil
2 oz minced prosciutto
3 cups sliced green garlic
4 med russet potatoes
1 quart chicken broth
1/2 cup cream
salt and pepper to taste
cayenne to taste
chives to garnish

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