I usually appreciate all four of the beautiful seasons that we are presented with each year. I love the differences, big and small, that each one embodies. And even though we hardly ever have much of a Winter to speak of here in LA, and that this Winter has been one of the mildest in my memory, I simply can’t wait for Spring.
Maybe it’s my enormous jade plant in the front yard, that Uncle Dougerton gave me when he moved recently, with it’s new blossoms’ magical, floral scent floating past my nose each time I walk by. Or maybe it’s the produce at the markets changing, now giving us strawberries, carrots, blueberries, peas, rhubarb, asparagus, green garlic and artichokes. Or maybe it’s that slight change in the light in the sky – that hint in the breeze that we may very well shed our warmies and get out our sweet, little dresses and sandals. Well, us girls anyway.
This Winter has been great and all - one I will remember for the rest of my life, in fact. But I’m ready to press on. I’m ready for watching the day slowly melt into evening, on my patio, listening to Alice Coltrane, with a glass of Lillet in my hand and the smell of the charcoal on the grill just getting going. I love it when I’m that house. The house that smells so awesome, everyone walking or driving past races home to open a bottle of wine – or a beer – and grabs some meat – or veggies? - to throw on the grill, and relax in the waning afternoon/early evening. So they can then be that house. And so on.
I imagine you’re with me now, right?
Well, we all need to just chill out. Because it’s only early February. And even though our City of Angels throws these climate curve balls at us, we have another month and a half until it’s officially Spring.
Though the flowers and the market veggies belie this truth.
I’m going with a theme this month. Why not? It's garlic.
Soup is – and has been for some time – my thing. I’m sure it’s other people’s thing, too. I guess. Biters.
The recipe I’m sharing with you is another one from the last Dinner at Eight (double theme for February!), and involves spring market produce and garlic. Green garlic. It’s like the super hero of garlic. Its alter ego likely being black garlic.
I’ve just had a few glasses of wine. Sorry.
Okay. Soup O’Clock. I’m not certain as to how, exactly, this brainflower of a recipe happened, but it did. This was also the dish at the last dinner party that had the magic ingredient that almost caused my undoing. But the elusive green garlic was found, in plentitude, at the Santa Monica Farmers’ Market - where it will remain for quite a few more months.
Here’s to the promise of long sunsets with Lillet, the smell of the charcoal grill and the promise of Spring!
Creamy Green Garlic Soup with Bacon & Black Garlic Chips
1 Tablespoon olive oil
2 slices minced bacon
3 cups sliced green garlic
4 medium russet potatoes
1 quart chicken stock, more if needed
1/2 cup cream
Salt and pepper to taste
2 cloves of black garlic, sliced, fried and crumbled (for garnish)
Add the olive oil and bacon to a soup pot, and place over medium heat. When the bacon is cooked and starting to get crisp, remove and set aside for garnish. Add the green garlic. Cook stirring for 3-4 minutes. Add the broth and potatoes. Simmer for 30-40 minutes, or until the potatoes and garlic are tender. Use more broth as needed.
You can use a potato masher to break up any large pieces of potato. Use a stick or regular blender to puree about 70% of the soup, and leave the rest unblended for texture. Add the cream, and season to taste. Once the soup is heated through, serve immediately topped with the bacon and black garlic.
One year ago: I Left My Heart in San Fran-Cheesy; Part 1.
Two years ago: Roasted Chickpeas with Garlic & Sage
Four years ago: Special Toast