Thursday, May 31, 2012

Green Garlic and Spinach Soup

I got green garlic in my CSA box this week, and my friend Tori handed over hers to me as well. Green garlic is basically immature garlic. It's harvested before the garlic is fully mature. It looks like a scallion, but it has a firmer texture. It's a bit milder than mature garlic. But it is mighty tasty. I wanted to make a soup for the week, and I wanted to use the green garlic. I found an easy recipe on a blog called Orangette, and it appealed to me because it had so few ingredients, but looked so beautiful in the end. If you freak out at green food, you won't like this. It's super green. But it is super tasty...a real delight. The Orangette blog suggested it be served with creme fraîche on top, but I used a small glug of half-n-half instead. I think either would be good.

Green Garlic and Spinach Soup via Orangette blog
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1/2 to 3/4 lb. green garlic, thinly sliced (white and pale green parts only)
1 qt. vegetable or mild chicken broth
8 to 10 oz. baby spinach leaves
1 Tbsp. crème fraîche or small glug of half-n-half

1. Warm the olive oil and butter in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat.

2. Add the green garlic and season with salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until it is soft and translucent. Also, as the garlic cooks, you should notice that its scent changes from raw and sharp to sweeter and more mellow; that’s what you’re after.

3. When the garlic is ready, add the stock, raise the heat a bit, and bring it to a boil. Then adjust the heat to maintain a gentle simmer, and continue to cook for about 15 minutes.

4. Add the spinach, and immediately turn off the stove. Let it sit for 5 minutes – not too long, or the spinach will lose its color – and then, working in batches, purée the mixture in a blender. (Remember never to fill the blender more than a quarter or a third full, because the hot liquid will expand when you turn on the motor.) The soup should be a rich shade of green and very smooth.

5. Return the soup to the pot, and place it over low heat to rewarm gently. Add 1 Tbsp. crème fraîche or half-n-half and another pinch or two of salt. Taste, and adjust seasoning as necessary.

I had this soup today for lunch with a big salad - lots of greens. But don't worry, I had a cookie to go with it!

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