Springtime Fresh Garlic Soup
The inspiration behind this oil-free vegan Springtime Fresh Garlic Soup is to embrace and concentrate the flavor of fresh spring garlic you can only get in the spring.
Fresh garlic can be found at local Farmers markets starting usually mid to late April through mid to late June. Some well-stocked grocery stores like local coops, and health food stores also carry it when in season.
First, the Springtime Fresh Garlic Stock is needed to make the flavor base of the soup. The stock is made with the green parts of the green garlic and the fresh garlic stalks, a few spices and some fresh herbs. The Springtime Fresh Garlic Stock is what gives this soup much of its flavor. Then, by starting the soup with the grated garlic paste from the fresh garlic cloves, the flavor of the soup becomes rich, deep and mellow with a slightly sweet note.
While the garlic remains the star, the toasted dried spices and herbs enhance the flavor. Saffron adds a mild floral flavor and a golden color which makes it more appealing and looks more like it tastes. It will be a clear broth which is why the spices are put in a spice bag instead of adding ground spices. Putting the diced potatoes in cold water removes the excess starch which also helps to keep the broth clear.
I love this soup with just the potatoes, but it is also really good with spring vegetables. Sugar snap peas, asparagus, fresh chickpeas, fava beans are all really good in this springtime fresh garlic soup. These fresh spring vegetables only need 2–5 minutes in the simmering soup added just before serving.
Springtime Fresh Garlic Soup is best enjoyed the day it is made as the aromatics are a large part of what makes this soup special. It will still be good for a few days refrigerated, but the fresh aromatics will diminish as time goes by. Springtime Fresh Garlic Soup is light and makes a really good first course served with a herb pesto on toast. My mother always included parsley whenever garlic was present in a dish. She claimed parsley brightened the taste and kept your breath fresher, and I agree. It was ingrained in me so much that I always include fresh herbs in dishes with garlic. In the photo above the soup is served with a whole grain bread toasted in the oven topped with a parsley cilantro walnut pesto. Asqueeze of lemon juice really brightens the soup too.
Tools Used in this Recipe
- Chef Knife
- Cutting Board
- Wash bowl or salad spinner
- Medium sauce pan
- Flat edge saptula
- 6 fresh garlic cloves
- 4 Yukon gold Potatoes
- 1 Tbls whole cumin seeds
- 1 Tbls whole coriander seeds
- 1/4 tsp saffron
- 2–4 tsps sweet white miso or chickpea miso to taste, see note below for SOS free option**
- 8 cups Springtime Fresh Garlic Stock
- 4 Tbls Fresh cut herbs for serving Parsley, marjoram, basil, cilantro, thyme or combination
- Grate the garlic first and set aside so it can sit for 10 minutes before using to get more health benefits.*
- Wash, peel and dice the potatoes into ½in cubes. Place in a bowl of filtered water and set aside. The water will prevent the potatoes from turning color.
- Heat a 5qt or larger pot to medium. Add the cumin and coriander seeds and heat through until fragrant (about 1 minute). Pour the spices into a bowl to allow to cool, then place in a spice bag. Set aside.
- Lower the heat to medium low and remove the pan from the burner for a couple minutes to make sure the pan isn’t so hot it will burn the garlic (add a tiny amount of garlic to check).Return the pan to the burner and add the grated garlic to the pan. Push the garlic down with the flat edge of the spatula to form a thin layer on the bottom of the pan.Heat through until most of the grated garlic sticks to the pan surface and becomes a light golden color. Don’t allow to become browned, this will make the garlic bitter and will give an off taste in this delicate soup.
- In a dry section of the pan, add the saffron and toast a few seconds.
- Add 2–3 Tbls of garlic stock to deglaze (release the garlic from the pan) and continue to sautée a minute or two longer.
- Add the miso and stir with the garlic.
- Drain the diced potatoes, then add to the pan. Stir to coat with garlic mixture. Cook a few minutes more to develop the flavor.
- Add the garlic stock (preferably hot) 1 cup at a time, stirring after each cup. Once all the stock is in, add the spice bag.
- Simmer on medium heat 20 minutes or more until the potatoes are done.
- Garnish with fresh cut herbs and/or toast with pesto. A squeeze of lemon juice will brighten the soup.