Monday, July 28, 2014

Chilled Pea and Garlic Scape Soup

**Originally posted on Greensgrow's Blog**

It's official folks: summer's here.  And while the season's super-stars—tomatoes, peppers, corn, and melons—have yet to hit the stage, it's time to give it up for summer's fantastic opening acts.  Strawberries and cherries need no introduction, naturally. English peas, fava beans, and string beans are also favored headliners this time of year.  But with this recipe, we'll be shining the spotlight on a more obscure offering of early summer's harvest: garlic scapes.

These curly, twisty sprouts are trimmed from the growing garlic plant to encourage larger bulbs.  And although they're often relegated to the compost pile, they offer great flavor and unique visual appeal.  You can use them as a substitute for garlic in almost any setting, or try charring them on the grill for a punchy addition to your line up of cookout toppings.

We decided to highlight scapes as a vital component in a light, refreshing chilled pea soup—a perfect dish for enjoying on a hot summer evening.  This is a quick, easy and fun way to use your fresh peas from Fifer Orchard.  We blanched some of Glick Farm’s garlic scapes to soften their fibrous texture and provide a savory backbone to the soup.  We also left a few raw, and pureed them in for a nice garlicky bite. 

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 5 minutes 

  • 4 cups fresh shell peas
  • 6 garlic scapes, chopped into small, manageable pieces 
  • ½ cup plain yogurt
  • 2 cups ice water
  • 1 Tbl fresh dill, chopped
  • 1 Tbl fresh mint, chopped
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 1 ½ Tbl salt, approximate according to taste

  • Blanch peas in a pot of boiling salted water.  Leave them submerged for about 2 minutes, or until they're tender and sweet tasting.  Transfer to a bowl of ice water to instantly drop their temperature and arrest the cooking process.  Shocking them this way will also preserve their gorgeous green color.
  • Blanch four garlic scapes them in the same manner, boiling them until they're tender.
  • Transfer the blanched peas and scapes to a large mixing bowl and puree (we like to use a small immersion blender) with the yogurt, ice water (buzz the ice cubes in too), herbs and the 2 remaining raw garlic scapes.
  • After a smooth, light bodied consistency has been achieved, season with salt and juice of one lemon.
  • Garnish with lemon zest, olive oil, grated Parmesan cheese, and yogurt whipped smooth.

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