Green Garlic Soup

Source: David Kurtz, Homage

Recipe Type: | Seasons: ,

This recipe was demonstrated for CUESA’s Market to Table program on April 7, 2018, featuring Knoll Farms.

Makes 10-12 servings (1 gallon)


Brioche croutons
1 loaf brioche
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt, to taste

Asparagus garnish
1 bunch asparagus, tips only (use the stalks for some other delicious dish!)
Lemon oil, to taste
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 pounds green garlic, cleaned and cut into medium dice
2 medium yellow onions, peeled and cut into medium dice
1 bunch leeks, cleaned and cut into medium dice
1 bulb fennel, cleaned and cut into medium dice, fronds reserved
½ head celery, cleaned and cut into medium dice
½ gallon whole milk
Salt and ground white pepper, to taste

Nettle Pesto
1 pound fresh stinging nettles
½ cup olive oil
Grated Parmiggiano Reggiano cheese, to taste (about ¼ cup)
1 lemon, zested and juiced
Salt to taste
Aleppo pepper, to taste (about 1 teaspoon)


To prepare the croutons: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Cut the brioche into small dice. Toss with olive oil and season with salt. Spread out on a baking pan and toast until golden brown, about 3 minutes (keep an eye on them – they will go from golden to dark brown very quickly!). Turn them and toast on the other side, about 2 minutes. Set aside.

To prepare the asparagus: Bring a pot of salted water to boil and prepare an ice bath. Blanch asparagus tips in boiling water for 1½ minutes, then transfer to ice bath. Save blanching water and ice bath for nettles (see below). Strain asparagus tips and toss with lemon oil and salt. Set aside.

To prepare the soup: Heat olive oil in a large, heavy bottom pot over medium heat. Add the diced vegetables and cook until tender and translucent (about 8-10 minutes), being sure not to keep the heat low enough so the vegetables don’t caramelize. Add the milk and bring to a gentle simmer, stirring occasionally. Season the soup with the salt and white pepper to taste. Working in small batches and covering the blender lid with a towel for insurance, blend the soup on high speed until it’s smooth and silken. Adjust seasoning as needed.

To prepare the pesto: While the soup is cooking, bring the blanching water back to a boil. Working with gloves or being careful not to touch the nettles, add the nettles to the boiling water and blanch for 1½ minutes. Transfer to the ice bath. Strain the nettles from the ice bath and transfer to a food processor with the olive oil. Process until roughly chopped. Add the grated cheese, lemon zest, lemon juice, and salt. Pulse in the processor until well combined and semi-smooth. Adjust seasoning as needed and finish with Aleppo pepper to taste.

To serve: Ladle the soup into warmed bowls. Swirl some of the pesto into each bowl, distribute the asparagus tips among the bowls (tips facing up), disperse the croutons and garnish each bowl with fennel fronds and a bit of Aleppo pepper. Serve warm.

Farmers Market Ingredients