Cream of Green Garlic and Potato Soup
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!
- 4 russet potatoes peeled and chopped into equal-sized chunks
- 3 cups chopped green garlic white and light green parts only
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 ounces minced prosciutto
- salt and ground black pepper to taste
- 1 pinch cayenne pepper or to taste
- 1 quart chicken broth or more as needed
- ½ cup heavy whipping cream
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives for garnish Optional
- Place potatoes in bowl of water. Set aside.
- Soak green garlic in a bowl of water to remove dirt or sand. Drain and set aside.
- Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat; cook and stir minced prosciutto until it begins to sizzle, about 2 minutes. Add green garlic and continue to cook, stirring frequently. Do not let the garlic brown. Season with salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper; cook and stir for 1 to 2 more minutes.
- Mix chicken broth into green garlic mixture and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 30 minutes.
- Remove potatoes from the bowl of water and add them to the garlic and broth mixture. Cook until potatoes are tender and easily smashed against the side of the pot, about another 30 minutes. Add broth as needed.
- Transfer potato chunks and some green garlic chunks to a blender with about 1/2 cup cooking liquid. Puree until smooth, adding more cooking liquid as needed.
- Stir blended potato mixture back into the pot; stir in heavy cream. Cook over medium-high heat until cream is warmed through, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and black pepper to taste. Garnish with fresh chopped chives.