In February, March, and April, however, the immature garlic can be harvested before it has begun to really bulb. In its young state, the garlic is much milder and can be used fresh or cooked. It is so mild and delicious that it can be used generously as the focal point of this creamy spring soup!
|1||cup green garlic, sliced|
|2||stalks celery, sliced|
|1 lb||yellow potatoes such as yukon gold or satina, peeled and sliced 1/4″ thick|
|6 cups||water or stock|
|1||herb bundle (parsley stems, thyme, and bay leaves)|
|1||handful chervil, pickled to garnish (optional)|
|–||freshly ground pepper|
Prepare the green garlic by removing the outer layer which can be a bit papery, trimming the root end, and cutting off the dark green top. Slice up the immature bulb and light green stalk. Follow a similar procedure for the leeks.
Heat a heavy-bottomed soup pot on medium heat, coat with olive oil, and add the leeks, garlic, and celery. Sprinkle with salt and stir continually until the vegetables have all softened. Avoid browning (add more olive oil, reduce heat, or add a splash of water if they start to get color). Once the vegetables are cooked, add the sliced potatoes and herb bundle, cover with water, and add some more salt.
To make an herb bundle: take the stems of picked parsley (which can be chopped and used in this recipe in place of the chervil to garnish) and lay them in a line on the counter. On the center of the parsley stems, place whatever other herbs you wish to use – thyme and bay leaves in this case. Roll up the parsley leaves so that your other herbs are held securely in the center and tie around the bundle with a piece of cooking twine. Now you can use this bundle to infuse your soup with flavor, but easily removed after cooking.
Simmer the potatoes until they are soft, about 10 – 15 minutes. Then remove the bundle and blend the soup with an immersion blender or work in batches with a countertop blender. Taste for salt. Serve warm with picked and lightly chopped chervil, freshly cracked pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil.