Having spent the past three days eating very well in Saskatoon, on a ranch (where we had pitchfork fondue – yes, that’s exactly what it sounds like it is) and in some fab new restaurants, I came home tired yet inspired to cook, yet wanting something simple and green.
Also, my spinach has gone to seed. Meaning I needed to come up with a way of using large quantities of it as I pulled out the entire garden to replant.
Also, I watered the spinach before coming to this conclusion, spattering it with mud in the process, and so I needed to swish the lot around in a big bowl of water in order to thoroughly clean it, and didn’t much feel like spinning it dry.
Also, if you are Calgarian or running with Calgarians this week, you could likely use a bowlful of greens to offset the effects of Stampede.
All good reasons, don’t you think? I wound up tossing in bits of other green things – a handful of fresh chives, which are growing in the old sink next to the tomatoes, and a couple garlic scapes, and a shake of frozen peas from the freezer. And onions, stock, a splash of cream. Salt. Soup is that easy.
These are garlic scapes – the big snakey green thing that grows out of the top of a growing garlic bulb. They are like intensely garlicky giant chives, kind of. They make great pesto.
A big handful of mint would have given it an entirely different character. Or cilantro. Or parsley. There are plenty of green growing things you could improv with here.
Spinach, Pea and Garlic Scape Soup
This soup would be fab with a swirl of crème fraîche, I think.
canola oil, for cooking
a big dab of butter
an onion, peeled and chopped
a couple garlic scapes, chopped
a handful of fresh chives
a salad bowl full of fresh spinach leaves
a heaping cup of frozen green peas
1 L chicken or veggie stock
a splash of cream
In a large saucepan, heat a drizzle of oil with a dab of butter over medium-high heat. Cook the onion for a few minutes, until soft. Add the garlic scapes and tear in the chives, sprinkle with salt and cook for a few more minutes, until everything is soft.
Add the spinach and peas and cook until the spinach wilts. Add the stock and bring to a simmer; cook for 20 minutes, or until all the veggies are nice and soft.
Season with salt and add a splash of cream. Puree with a hand-held immersion blender (or transfer in batches to a regular blender) until smooth. Serve warm. Serves 4.