What happened was this: I had been emailed a heads-up that as part of the summer farmers’ market opening weekend, my CSA (a.k.a. One Straw Farm) would have garlic scapes on the table. As my own garden garlics seems to have mysteriously keeled over and quit where they lay (victims of wild urban animals or overly strong rain storms, I’m not sure which) I was excited to still have a chance at this seasonal treat. Paging through my pickling books, I got excited for the brined version, so I brought home two hefty bunches and prepared to stuff them in jars. I also picked up a few other things.
On reflection, I realized that I was already somewhat overstocked in the pickle department (especially after making a few jars of dill pickle spears and a second batch of that rhubarb chutney I’m infatuated with). Plus honestly, I really didn’t want to wait to eat them. Still, in my enthusiastic preparation for what I thought was to be a canning project, I had acquired 24 of them and I shuddered to think that they’d now turn yellow and quietly rot away at the bottom of my produce-packed crisper drawer. There was the garlic scape pesto option, but I already had a batch of kale pesto taking care of that culinary need (esp. when it came to egg sandwiches–highly recommend!).
And so, as I often do, I turned to Google, and Heidi Swanson’s recipe for Garlic Scape Soup–calling for a perfectly portioned two dozen scapes–came to the rescue.
Garlic Scape Soup
Only slightly proportionally adapted from Super Natural Cooking (My potatoes were quite large and I like a thinner soup.)
2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (I am loving the California Olive Ranch brand lately. It has a strong, almost grassy taste.)
24 garlic scapes, flowers removed and chopped
3 large russet potatoes, cubed (no need to peel)
5-6 cups vegetable broth
3 cups spinach
2 T fresh lemon juice
1 cup whole milk
salt and pepper to taste
In a large soup pot, heat oil and sauté scapes for a few minutes. Next, add potatoes and broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until potato cubes break apart easily when pierced with a fork, about 30 minutes. Remove pot from heat, add spinach, and puree the soup (an immersion blender is really the way to go here). Add lemon juice, milk, salt and pepper, and continue to blend until well combined. Adjust seasoning. You may need to add additional salt until, as Heidi puts it, “the flavors really pop.”