Vegetable soups are one of those recipes that frequently appear to be more difficult to prepare than they actually are. Although their final silky-smooth texture and layers of flavour give the impression that a lot of effort has gone into them, this is frequently not the case. This herbal and fresh garlic scape soup is simply one more illustration of how minimal ingredients are required to create delectable food.
It follows a general procedure which most cookbooks have outlined. However, there is a small deviation which would be explained in this article.
In order to create flavour while maintaining freshness throughout this dish, we start by sweating the leek and the garlic scapes in butter until soft but not browned. Each cooking stage is intended to be just long enough to tenderise the ingredients without further cooking. Once they’ve softened, add vegetable stock or water (or, if you don’t mind the recipe not being vegetarian, a simple white chicken stock). It’s not a problem if you don’t have stock because when I developed this recipe, I used water and the results were still fantastic.
I made the choice to use one chopped Yukon gold potato in addition to the stock. This is done to give the completed pureed soup body while retaining its lightness, something that other potential thickening components like cream or additional butter wouldn’t be able to do as well.
When making creamy vegetable soup, I love to include aromatics to the pot of ingredients so they all simmer together. Fresh mint and parsley are the aromatics I’m reaching for in this situation, and I really don’t want to lose their fresh, raw flavour, so I do the complete opposite of adding them to the pot to simmer—I cool the simmered soup first, then I blend the herbs using a blender so they can mix in without cooking.
Though it tastes good hot or warm, I prefer to eat the finished soup at room temperature or even chilled. It is minty and herbal with a subtle garlic flavour. It only requires a drizzle or dollop of acidic dairy, such as buttermilk or sour cream.
- 4 tablespoons (60g) unsalted butter
- One medium (226g) leek, white and light green parts only, thoroughly washed of any sand or grit, then cut into large dice
- 12 garlic scapes (about 266g), woody ends trimmed and scapes cut into roughly 1-inch lengths
- 1 quart (946ml) vegetable stock or water, plus more as needed
- One medium-sized Yukon gold potato, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 1/3 cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves
- 1/4 cup loosely packed flat-leaf parsley leaves and tender stems
- Sour cream, crème fraîche, or buttermilk, for garnish
- Melt butter till foaming in a 3-quart pot or saucier over medium heat. Leeks and garlic scapes should be added at this point. Cook for 6 minutes, stirring frequently, until soft but not browned.
- The potato and vegetable stock (or water) are added, and the mixture is simmered over medium-high heat. About 5 minutes of simmering cooking will get the potato soft. Turn off the heat and allow to cool at room temperature (to speed up cooling, you can set the pot in a larger mixing bowl filled with an ice bath).
- Blend the broth and solids together in a blender. Blend until the solids are well pureed and the soup has a silky texture, starting on low and then increasing to high. Turn off the blender, add the mint and parsley, and blend again until the herbs are well blended into the soup. Return to the saucier and whisk in more stock or water until the soup is pourable but still thick enough to lightly coat a spoon (about 1 to 2 additional cups). Season with salt and pepper.
- Serve the soup warm, at room temperature, or cold, and top it with a generous drizzle of buttermilk, crème fraîche, or sour cream.