Earlier this week, I featured a recipe with green garlic, which are immature garlic plants that resemble scallions. Garlic scapes, in contrast, are the tops of larger garlic plants. The long ropes have a "greener" garlic flavor that, while milder than a raw garlic clove, can still add noticeable garlic flavor to a dish.
Some people like to use garlic scapes raw in salads or pesto. I find they're a little too potent for that (and this from a self-avowed garlic lover), so I like to cook them to mellow their flavor a bit. Last year, I roasted them for pesto, this year I sautéed them for this soup with peas, spinach and mint.
I adapted this recipe from the Dinner with Julie blog by Canadian food writer Julie Van Rosendaal. I modified Julie's recipe a bit by omitting the cream and adding a little fresh mint.
Pea, Spinach, Mint and Garlic Scape Soup
Adapted from a recipe by Dinner with Julie
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. butter
1 sweet onion, diced
4 garlic scapes, chopped
Salt, to taste
1 bag frozen peas
3 cups packed fresh baby spinach
4 cups chicken broth (may use vegetable broth)
2 tbsp. chopped chives, plus more for garnish
2 tbsp. chopped mint, plus a few sprigs for garnish
Fresh-ground white pepper
1. Heat olive oil and butter in a Dutch oven or deep-sided saute pan over medium heat. Add onion and saute until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic scapes, season with salt and continue cooking a few more minutes until the scapes are also softened.
2. Add the peas and spinach and cook until the spinach wilts. Add the broth, chives and mint, bring to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes.
3. Puree soup with an immersion blender until smooth (alternatively, transfer in batches to a blender). Season with fresh-ground white pepper. Ladle soup into shallow bowls and garnish with chives and a mint sprig.