This past weekend I noticed a pile of very beautiful English peas — something I don’t often find in the grocery store. Hunting around a bit more, I found wonderfully curly garlic scapes (the stems of garlic bulbs). They have a flavor somewhere between garlic and chives, and they are very crunchy. Rounding things out are scallions — both the bulbs and greens.
Chop 1 bunch of scapes (about 20 stalks) into inch-size pieces. Don’t forget to remove the bulbs at the tips. In a large stock pot over medium heat, saute the scapes in a few tablespoons of oil or butter for about 5 minutes. You do not want them to brown. Remember, it’s a green soup!
Remove the bulbs and white stems from a bunch of scallions, resulting in about 1/2 cup chopped parts. Add these to the stock pot and saute a further 2-4 minutes. Again, if browning occurs, lower the temperature and stir more often.
Add 1/2 cup of chopped potatoes then the stock of your choice (mine, chicken) plus additional water to completely cover the vegetables. Bring the soup to a boil and then simmer for 5-10 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender (but not falling apart, mashed texture).
Shell about 1 pound of English peas, wash, and add to the soup. Cover and reduce to a low simmer. Leave for another 2-4 minutes.
Now add the remaining green parts from the scallions — about 1 cup’s worth — as well as a few teaspoons finely chopped herbs of your choice. Keeping with the green theme I opted for basil, sage, parsley, and chives from our tiny farm.
Turn off the heat and puree. If you have an immersion blender and a large enough stock pot, you can save a step. I didn’t have such luck and was forced to transfer to a blender. Of course, be very careful with the now very hot water.
Now taste! Mmm, delicious! And no bacon or cream were necessary. Now’s a good time to adjust the salt, pepper, and herb levels to your taste. A light spritz of white truffle oil finished off my bowl. Oh, and I also thought a bit of lemon zest and juice (approximately half a lemon’s worth) were nice additions. A few days later, though, I realized the acid had slowly broken down the raw elements in the soup. Freezing or eating all in one day would obviate this issue.