Garlic Scape Soup

Garlic scapes are one of the most unusual, yet beautiful, items you’ll find at the farmers’ market. Fleeting, too, as they’re only around for a few short weeks in early summer. They can be used in a variety of ways—in stir-fries, pesto, scrambled eggs, and even replace a utensil in this Grilled Mushroom Satay with Garlic Scape Skewers I made a couple years ago.

With a lovely bunch of scapes on hand, today I decided on soup. A pretty puréed soup full of healthy ingredients and mild garlic flavor. Potatoes give it body and some fresh spinach helps keep the vibrant green color, although the addition of the milk dilutes it a bit. Garnished with fresh thyme from my herb garden and a sprinkling of pistachios to maintain the green color scheme, we had a light, but delicious lunch.

Originally thinking this would need to go through a fine mesh sieve after puréeing, it didn’t. I discarded the thicker last few inches of each scape and this resulted in no fibrous pieces remaining after pureeing. Was it smooth as silk? No, but darn close. Enjoy!

Garlic Scape Soup

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil


Garlic scapes, cut into 2 inch pieces, to measure 2 cups (cut off the end from the flower bulb on up and if the other ends seem fibrous, cut off a few inches there as well)

½ a large yellow onion, chopped

1 medium to large russet potato, peeled and cut into ½ inch dice

1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, plus more for garnish

A couple handfuls of fresh spinach leaves

4 cups good quality vegetable broth/stock (homemade is ideal)

1 cup milk of choice (whole, low-fat, cream, almond, evaporated, etc.)

1 tablespoon sherry vinegar or fresh-squeezed lemon juice

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Chopped pistachios for garnish

Heat olive oil over medium heat in a stockpot or Dutch oven. When oil is hot, add scapes and onion, sprinkling with a little salt. Cook, stirring occasionally until scapes and onions are tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in potato, thyme leaves, and spinach; add another small sprinkle of salt. Cook for an additional minute or two. Add stock/broth, increase heat to medium-high, and bring to a boil. Cover pan, with lid slightly askew, and reduce heat to low. Cook for about 15 minutes, until potatoes are tender. Remove from heat.

Using an immersion blender, purée soup until very smooth (alternately, purée in a blender in small batches, venting the lid to let steam escape, and return to pot). Place pot over medium heat and stir in milk, cooking until heated through, but not boiling. Add sherry vinegar or lemon juice and stir. Season with freshly ground black pepper and additional salt, if necessary.

Ladle into bowls and garnish with reserved thyme and pistachios. Makes 4-6 servings.


Blueberry Peach Galette

Galette and gelato!
Living somewhere without the four distinct seasons would not be a happy place for me. I love them equally and enjoy the unique experiences, memories, sights, smells, and most of all, foods, that make each distinct.

The freshness that summer brings to our food here in Minnesota makes me practically giddy! This time of year, almost everything in my kitchen comes from the farmers market, picked just the day before. And each week the selection changes a little, with a few things rotating out as the new comes in. Not just vegetables; delightful breads, eggs, maple syrup and honey, too. And fruit! Raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, rhubarb (yes, I know, technically not a fruit), and closer to fall, apples and pears.

Fruit makes its way into my cooking, in both sweet and savory dishes, much more often in the summer and fall. In recent years, much to my surprise, I’ve even started to prefer fruit-based desserts over ooey-gooey decadent chocolate ones (scandalizing my chocoholic mother!).

This dessert, utilizing seasonal fruit, is extremely versatile, and about as quick and easy as can be. Include just one fruit, or a combination of several; drizzle with a cinnamon-spiked glaze; serve with whipped cream (whipped coconut cream is my dairy-free fav!); or top with a scoop of good quality ice-cream or gelato. A very pretty dessert, this will elicit oohs and aahs from your dinner guests when they see it and once again when they eat it. I love telling people how simple this is to make! Enjoy!

Inspired by this recipe from Relishing It, one of my favorite food blogs, written by a fellow Minnesotan.

Blueberry Peach Galette

1 sheet puff pastry, thawed

2 ½ cups fruit of choice, leave raspberries and blueberries whole, cut strawberries and rhubarb into bite-sized pieces, and slice apples, pears, or peaches

1/4 – 1/3 cup sugar (less if your fruit is super sweet, more if it’s on the tart side)

1 tablespoon arrowroot powder or cornstarch

¼ teaspoon cinnamon if you’re using a cinnamon-friendly fruit

A pinch of salt

1 egg, mixed with 1 teaspoon water (for egg wash)

A tablespoon of turbinado or demerara sugar, for sprinkling (add a little cinnamon too, if you’d like)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Place puff pastry on a flour-dusted piece of parchment paper that will fit onto a large baking sheet. With a lightly floured rolling pin, roll pastry into a 12”x14” rectangle.

In a medium bowl, mix fruit, sugar, arrowroot/cornstarch, cinnamon (if using), and salt. Pour fruit mixture into the center of pastry. Carefully fold edges of pastry over fruit mixture, leaving the center exposed and pressing edges together so fruit mixture doesn’t leak out as it bakes. Gently move the parchment paper onto a large baking sheet. Brush pastry with egg wash and sprinkle with turbinado sugar.

Bake for 30-40 minutes, until the pastry is golden brown and the fruit is bubbling. Carefully move parchment and galette to a cooling rack and let cool completely. If you are going to glaze it, wait until it’s cool to do so. Cut into wedges and serve with topping of choice. Makes about 6 generous servings.