the past few days new york city has seen and felt temperatures in the 90s. and while making soup probably wasn't the smartest idea, it was totally worth it. the sweltering temperatures were more reflective of summer than spring, but i still continued my pursuit of a spring soup. it started a couple weeks ago when frank picked up a vegan zucchini basil soup from a local market. was probably one of the most delicious soups i have ever had, and since then i had been researching and making notes of various zucchini basil soups (i honestly didn't know it was as popular as it was), and thought that i would give it a shot. but i decided to put the idea on hold for another few weeks until zucchini season.
the story continues at the farmers' market the other week when i picked up garlic scapes. i thought maybe i would saute them and use them in a rice or quinoa dish, perhaps i would slice them and fry them up for a salad. maybe a garlic scape pesto..? ding! a lightbulb went off when i started thinking about the traditional flavors in pesto and also thinking about the basil in the zucchini basil soup that i had loved so much. so, i thought of making a variation of the zucchini basil soup by replacing the zucchini with a heap of garlic scapes and voila, garlic scape basil soup was born.
the great thing about garlic scapes is that you get a great flavor and aroma, without the punchiness of regular garlic. the first time i attempted the soup i only used 10 or so scapes. i didn't really get the flavor i wanted. the second time i used almost the entire bunch and achieved an outcome that was closer to what i had imagined. the basil adds a lot of flavor as well, and in my opinion makes the soup even more tasty.
garlic scape basil soup
| makes 4 servings
1 bunch garlic scapes (about 20 or so), chopped
1/3 cup basil leaves, packed
1 large shallot or 2 small shallots, chopped
1 small white yam (or potato), peeled, halved, and quartered
3 cups vegetable stock
1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
2 tablespoons pepitas, toasted
n a large pot, saute the shallot over medium-low heat - cook until soft, about 5 minutes. add the chopped garlic scapes and saute for another 7 minutes or so - until soft. add the yams and 2 1/2 cups of the stock. raise the heat, and bring to a boil. reduce the heat so that the soup cooks at a simmer. simmer for 15 minutes. remove from heat and let cool
while the soup is cooling toast the pepitas in the oven on 350° for 3 minutes. let cool
in a food processor (or blender), pour the soup mixture in, add the basil leaves. cover the basil with the soup (this helps to soften the basil leaves). let the basil sit for about 5 minutes. blend the soup. depending on your preferred thickness, add the other 1/2 cup of vegetable stock. taste, and season with more salt and pepper. blend until desired consistency. if serving immediately, heat the soup back up and top with a sprinkle of toasted pepitas. enjoy