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!


Ingredients:
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

View the complete recipe

47 comments:

Jason said...

New oven Chef John?

Good soup technique, I love your recipes make a great "blank canvas."

DR triplEEE said...

Why not immersion blend? Thanks for the new recipe. :)

Chef John said...

Mine broke!

Livia said...

That looks delicious! Ah...your videos always make me hungry.

Jackson said...

Oh man! That is my kind of soup! Might have to save this one because down here in the south things are already getting mighty hot.

Anonymous said...

Hey Chef John, Thanks for giving the vegetarian alternative too

Spike said...

Can I just plant garlic cloves in the ground until they sprout? Is that the same as green garlic?

Also I really liked that comment about the thornless roses.

Anonymous said...

Aren't those spring onions?

Leukoplasthea said...

Wow, that really looks great!!! I need to try this, because not only do I love soup, but also my dentist ripped out my wisdom teeth and now I totally depend on fluid food.

Greetings from Germany!!
Susanne

Louise said...

Chef John,

Can I use 1% milk instead of cream?

Paul D said...

I know how to make cream soups... the great thing is Chef John knows how to make them so much better! I'm not a novice cook, but it's partially true that it's (can't stress partially enough) those little tips and tricks you offer that keep me coming back for more Chef.

I love picking up tips, tricks, and ideas from you.I also can't wait to purchase your cookbook for myself, friends and family. I want to see this man paid for services rendered!

Chef John said...

YEs milk is ok!

connieemeraldeyes said...

I love potato soup. I have never tried the garlic like that. I will look for some and make this. Looks delicious.

Gluten Free Foodies said...

Congratulations on your Saveur win!!! Lisa

La Titti said...

Hi Chef!
I've just discovered your blog...wow, plenty of amazing recipes here! I am looking forward to trying your ciabatta bread: it looks amazing!

Tamar@StarvingofftheLand said...

I see you got my e-mail about how I have to pull a bunch of green garlic to make room in the hoophouse and I don't know what to do with it.

Oh, wait -- I didn't send that e-mail. I'll add telepathy to your long list of skills.

Nice recipe.

Hilding said...

Haha I love how you can see the reflection of you in the spoon while sprinkling the chives! Another great recepie chef, thanks!

Chef John said...

Tamar,

I was just about to use the old, "I knew you were going to say that.." ESP joke, but I can't since I have a reputation for witty responses to uphold. ;-)

Spicy Wassabi said...

I made this soup today with Green Onion instead of Green Garlic and it was very good. I wanted green garlic but had a hard time finding it.

Conor said...

Wasn't able to find Green Garlic but got some Green Onion. . I hope it turns out well.

foodisto said...

that looks sooo good!

Steph said...

Looks awesome. I have made a basic and very tasty potato and leek soup, but this is a step up and looks even tastier! I am a poor student so I will make due with no prosciutto and my potato masher.

w3bd3v said...

I made this last night, except I used leeks because I couldn't find any baby green garlic at my local grocery store..yes Chef John, it's the one with the big parking lot. :) I put a little too much garlic in though, but it's still darn tasty.

Shreela said...

Well while I'm not glad your immersion blender broke, I am glad that your soup wasn't super smooth, because I love my little veggie chunks.

PS: I've been having problems finding commercial cream without carrageenan (a thickener that HATES me), until I went through all the cream labels at shopwell's site. I finally found Organic Valley's regular pasteurized didn't have carrageenan (but beware that their ULTRA pasteurized cream does have carrageenan). I had to special request it through my nearest health food store (I used Organic Valley's zip finder to see which local vendors carried their product). I'll probably bulk order and freeze it - yes I know frozen cream won't "whip", but at least I can enjoy cream soups and sauces again, YAY!

It seems carrageenan doesn't bother most people, but I'm finding more and more posts here and there about it. Now you know one source should any of your readers have digestive problems after using heavy cream.

Jay M. said...

Chef John!

Another fantastic recipe. Thanks again for showing us how easy it is to make simple and delicious meals. I appreciate how you let the basic ingredients do the talking, instead of getting unnecessarily complicated.

So you minored in "herb distribution," huh? I'm guessing that's when the inside-out grilled cheese first made its appearance? ;)

Seriously, great work though. A thousand thanks!

Aleksandra said...

I've used a combination of leek and regular garlic. It turned out very tasty. Thank you for the recipe!

Emily and Adam said...

Could I leave out the dairy altogether? I have no tolerance for lactose... not one bit. One might even say I am intolerant.

Also, how is it chilled?

Anonymous said...

Chef John, Why dit you opt for the traditional blender instead of the stick blender? Any specific reason not to use the stick? Thanks!

Chef John said...

Yes and I'm not sure. ;-)

Chef John said...

Mine was broke :-)

Anonymous said...

Yum!

lynn said...

can i use water instead of the chicken broth..?

Chef John said...

Of course! But veg stock is better!

Steve said...

Chef:

This looks fabulous and I'm going to give it a whirl as soon as I have a moment or two.

A few questions: I usually don't have broth but do have lots of chicken stock in the freezer. Anything that broth brings to the party that stock won't?

I know your immersion blender was broken but how about using a food processor? Or would that tend to puree things too much and perhaps form gluten, making the soup gluey?

I'm also thinking that for a minor variant, slightly caramelizing the veggies might add a sweeter note, as you suggest. Any reasons you can think of not to (other than it changes the character of the soup from the original recipe)?

BTW, loved your on-camera cameo appearance in the reflection in the spoon during the herb sprinkling.

Chef John said...

Stock broth same deal. Blender or FP same result. If u want sweeter caramelize away. Enjoy.

Clara said...

Thanks for another great recipe! Just wanted to let you know I only had 30 mins total to throw this together, and used a leek instead of green garlic, but it still turned out delicious! Basically I only sweated the leeks for 5 mins before adding the stock, threw in the potatoes at the same time, and used an immersion blender in the pot as soon as they were soft. I recommend this shortcut if you are short on time, will definitely be making this again!

Itamar said...

Chef john! this really looks amazing, however I can't find any green garlic where I live. Is there some ingredient to put instead that would produce similar results?

Chef John said...

Omg! You didn't read the post! ;-). (see last paragraph )

Itamar said...

To be honest, right after I posted my comment I figured the post must contain some information about a substitute, however when I started reading I noticed how much you praised green garlic... I was convinced it was the only option worth mentioning. :P
By the way, I noticed you said Shitaki mushrooms can be put instead of pork. What about Portobello mushrooms?

Meraj said...

Chef John haven't you used spring onions in your video?

Chef John said...

NO! (thats why it called green garlic soul :-)
Looks similar, completely different!

Anonymous said...

Chef John,

Can you use an immersion blender instead of a blender?

Thanks so much!

Chef John said...

yes! enjoy

TheProf'sWife said...

Got inspired and made this today with turnips instead of potatoes and leeks and garlic instead of green garlic! The immersion blender worked well. I reserved a few large chunks to add back into the soup in case I got crazy with the blender. Delicious! Thank you Chef John.

aravis said...

Made it last night...My 6 yo daughter said that I am the best cook ever and it was from the girl who doesn't like potatoes :) Thank you for another outstanding recipe.

AT said...

Is it possible to use a hand blender to blend the potatoes while they're still in the pot, rather than to strain them out and put them in a blender?

Eduardo Barriga said...

Hello and greetings from Colombia. I couldn't find "green garlic" anywhere. I only find common garlic cloves. Any suggestions?