Springtime Fresh Garlic Soup
The concept behind this 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, fresh chickpeas, fava beans are all really good in this springtime fresh garlic soup. These fresh spring vegetables only need 2–4 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 parsley & cilantro 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. I think that 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.
Tools used in this recipe
- vegetable peeler
- chef knife
- cutting board
- 6–10 quart stock pot or Dutch oven
- flat spatula; spice bag or tea ball