Rainy day summer soup

Although I love garlic, I have never eaten or made a garlic soup that I really liked. It always seemed to lack body and be a bit on the watery side, even the Garlic Soup from Mastering the Art of French Cooking.

The garlic scapes are in urgent need of cutting so I decided to tinker with a simple and easy formula that uses lots of scapes and thickens the soup by adding a potato. For this recipe it does not matter that some of the scapes are already turning fibrous, as they are only used to infuse the broth and discarded afterwards.

I must admit I was too deliberate with the cayenne pepper so the soup was slightly hot but otherwise I will make it again just like  this – as long as there are still scapes to be cut in the garden.

Cream of Scape Soup

12 scapes, blossom ends removed

3 cups good-quality chicken broth

1 small bunch fresh thyme sprigs

1 medium to large potato, peeled and cubed

1 cup half and half

Salt

Pepper

Pinch cayenne

White wine vinegar

Croutons to serve

1. Cut the scapes into 2-inch chunks and chop coarsely in the food processor.

2. Put chopped scapes in a large saucepan with 2 cups of the chicken broth and the thyme. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 10 minutes.

3. Strain through a fine sieve, reserving the broth. Discard the solids.

4. Pour the broth back in the pan and add the potato and the remaining stock. Bring to a boil, cover, and cook until the potato is soft, 10 to 12 minutes.

5. Puree to a very smooth consistency. Add the cream and reheat. Season with salt, pepper, cayenne, and a dash of white wine vinegar. Serve with croutons.

Makes 4 servings

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