The garlic bulb you know and love reveals itself in the spring garden as “green garlic” or “spring garlic” (this link goes to Food52 where you can find great tips and recipe suggestions). Depending on when the farmer picks, you will find green garlic in phases from scallion-looking stalk to young bulb with cloves, all are great for cooking. I’m still waiting for mine to peek up out of the soil here in Montana, but if you live in a warm climate, you may be seeing them already. Nevertheless, get psyched to cook with these babies, they provide a mellow garlic flavor and are a beautiful way to connect with spring.
Garlic scapes will come later, maybe even early summer, when farmers cut off the bulb’s flowering stalk, a treat for us cooks and eaters, and essential for the formation of a robust, flavorful head of garlic.
Green Garlic and Kabocha Squash Soup
- 1 kabocha squash, rinsed and roasted in advance see instruction #1
- ½ yellow onion, finely diced
- ½ head green garlic and tender light green stalk, finely minced peel off any papery outer layers
- 1 tbsp ghee
- 1 jalapeño or other hot chile pepper, seeds removed and flesh finely diced optional
- 1 14-ounce can coconut milk Chaokoh
- ½ teaspoon Majaraja curry powder
- ½ teaspoon Kosher salt or sea salt
Serving accompaniments: plain yogurt, dried mango, cashews
Roast the Squash
Preheat oven to 400° F. Cut off stem end with a sharp chef’s knife. Microwave the squash for 30–60 seconds to soften slightly, then cut it in half and remove and discard the seeds. Place each squash half, cut side down, in a glass or ceramic baking dish and bake for 30 minutes, until tender.
Melt the ghee in a soup pot and add the onion, garlic, and optional chile pepper. Gently cook over medium heat, stirring now and then so that the onions soften but do not brown.
Sprinkle in the spices and salt, and cook for a minute. Add the coconut milk, water, and flesh from the roasted squash (use a spoon to scoop the squash from the rind, discard the rind). Stir to combine, then simmer gently 15 – 20 minutes to develop the flavors, stirring occasionally.
Remove from heat and purée with an immersion blender. Serve with a dollop of plain yogurt, a few strips of dried mango, and some cashews.
Recipe Notes / Tips
- Roast the squash up to 4 nights in advance of making the soup. (Whenever you are using the oven to roast a chicken or something else that takes some time, pop in a squash so that you can have it roasted and ready to use, either that same night or down the road.
- Ghee is butter that is cooked gently until the milk solids separate to the bottom of the pan and start to brown, imparting a slight nutty flavor to the clarified butter. Ghee is used in Indian cooking and Ayurvedic principles claim that ghee is good for mental clarity, healthy skin and good digestion. I like its flavor and high smoke point, which makes it great for sautéing.
- Best coconut milk: Chaokoh