Roasted Garlic Scape Soup

These past few weeks, our farmer’s market has yielded some pretty great stuff, in particular strawberries (which actually taste like awesome strawberries), rhubarb, all sorts of herbs and onions, and one of my favorites this time of year, garlic scape. I buy garlic scape every time I see it at the market, and I make a variety of things with it, but this year I decided to make a roasted garlic scape soup. If you are not familiar with garlic scapes, it is essentially the flower bud from garlic, and have the taste of a mix between a mild garlic and onion flavor. That’s right up my alley.

This roasted garlic scape soup is not only easy to make, but it’s super comforting, loaded with great flavor, and has the texture of a nice bisque. Not the prettiest of soups, but one that you will want to make again.

Roasted Garlic Scape Soup Recipe
Roasted Garlic Scape Soup Recipe

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch of garlic scapes
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • generous pinch of salt, and more to taste
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 3 small to medium sized shallots
  • 4 cups of chicken stock
  • 1 whole russet potato, peeled, cut into cubes
  • 1/4 cup of half and half
  • pinch of red chili flakes
  • 1/2 tbsp cracked black pepper
  • 1 sprig of fresh thyme, stem removed

I like to roast my scapes, garlic, and shallots (both skin on) over some charcoal, but you could place yours in the oven on high heat if you prefer. It’s summertime so I make every attempt not to heat up the kitchen. So start by rubbing the olive oil all over the garlic scapes, garlic, and shallots, and season with some salt, and place onto your hot grill, turning along the way. You want some nice charred marks on the scapes, as well as to soften the shallots and garlic. So once they are slightly charred, remove them from the grill and set aside.

Chop up the garlic scapes and carefully remove the skins from the garlic and shallots.

Next, get a pot onto the stove and pour in the chicken stock. Add in the cubed potatoes, and the garlic scapes, garlic, and shallots, and cook for about 25 minutes or until the potatoes are fork tender.

Roasted Garlic Scape Soup Recipe
Roasted Garlic Scape Soup Recipe

Once they are fork tender, this is when you want to bust out your immersion blender. If you do not have an immersion blender, I highly recommend you purchase one, then you can carefully ladle, in batches, the soup mixture into a blender, making sure you cover the top and place pressure down onto it. Hot stuff in blenders without putting a towel over the top, once covered, can lead to a mess. Trust me.

So whichever route you take (I used an immersion blender), blend until you have a nice smooth puree.

Keep the pot on medium to low heat, and continue to cook. Add the half and half, black pepper, red chili flakes, and fresh thyme. Stir, cook for a few minutes, and taste. If more salt is needed, add a bit more.

Now you are ready to serve. Ladle some into a small soup bowl, garnish with fresh parsley if desired, and dig in. This roasted garlic scape soup is super smooth, and you get the taste of everything you put in there. It’s comforting, easy, and delicious, and granted soup season has somewhat past us here in Wisconsin, it is still worth making.

So if your market has scapes, get a bunch of them and give them a try. It’s a must if you love garlic. Hope you enjoy!

 

Rhubarb Jam

Rhubarb has been in abundance at our local farmer’s market these last few weeks. We purchased a plant last year and are waiting to harvest the rhubarb, most likely next year, so I decided to buy some from our favorite farmers. When growing up, we had a small rhubarb patch in the backyard, and I recall eating it raw for the most part. It was sour and extremely tart, and as a kid that was right up my alley. However later as I began to experiment with rhubarb, I knew that cooking this vegetable down with sugar was the route to take. So with this recent batch, I decided to make a simple rhubarb jam, and I am glad that I did. We’ve been using this jam on toast for breakfast, as well as drizzles over cheese and crackers. It has that perfect balance of sweet with subtle tartness that has you wanting more.

Simple Rhubarb Jam Recipe
Simple Rhubarb Jam Recipe

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1 large Ball’s canning jars, boiled in water for 5 minutes
  • 4 large ribs of rhubarb, cleaned, and diced
  • 3 1/2 cups of sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups of water
  • 1 lemon, zest only
  • pinch of salt

Start by adding the rhubarb, sugar, water, and lemon zest to a large stock pot. Let that mixture rest in the pot, off of the heat, for about an hour to let things meld. Heat the pot over medium heat, and stir, cooking for about 20 minutes, letting it come to a small boil. Continue to stir.

Simple Rhubarb Jam Recipe
Simple Rhubarb Jam Recipe

Continue to cook until your jam begins to thicken. Make sure you stir the rhubarb frequently to prevent the sugars from burning on the bottom.

Once thickened, I use a stick blender and blend this all together to pulse and blend the softened chunks of rhubarb. This also thickens the jam into a perfect consistency.

Simple Rhubarb Jam Recipe
Simple Rhubarb Jam Recipe

Once blended, carefully pour into the sterilized jars, let cool, then seal and place into the refrigerator to chill. Once this has fully chilled, do as you please. We’ve been using the rhubarb jam on toast, peanut butter sandwiches, and drizzled over soft cheese. It’s good. REALLY, REALLY GOOD.

Korean Style Cast Iron Potatoes

There’s one cuisine I wish I knew much more about and that is Korean. There are a couple of places in town but I have yet to visit. I’m familiar with some of the dishes, especially kimchi, as well as one of my favorite condiments lately, and that is gochujang. If you have never had gochujang, go out and by a small container of it, and I guarantee you will love it. It’s a funky fermented paste that is so addictive. Mixed in mayonnaise makes you wonder where it has been all of your life. I’m trying to get my wife and kids to enjoy it as much as I do, and this was another attempt. I know they all love crispy potatoes, so I decided to serve these Korean style cast iron potatoes with some grilled meat and see if I could persuade them to love it as much as I do.

Korean Style Cast Iron Potatoes
Korean Style Cast Iron Potatoes

These potatoes are way too easy to make and are packed with awesome flavor, plus they are great for leftovers if you are looking for some great crispy hash of sorts.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 3 yukon gold potatoes, quartered, and chopped into large chunks
  • 2 tbsp gochujang paste
  • 2 tbsp water
  • salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • cilantro to garnish, optional

Start by parboiling your potatoes, and boil them just until they become fork tender, but not mushy. Once tender, strain the potatoes.

During this time, take the gochujang paste and water, and stir to make a smooth mixture.

Heat a skillet on medium-high heat. Add in the oil, give it a good swirl in the pan. Next add in the potatoes, and cook until they get nice and crispy on the exterior, stirring along the way. Add in the gochujang mixture, and give a good toss. Cook for about 2-3 minutes or until the gochujang has been warmed through and coats all of the potatoes.

Shower the potatoes with cilantro, and taste. If you want some salt, which I think potatoes always needs, add it.

Serve immediately. The end result is a great smokey, funky, addictive taste that had me coming back for more. Did my wife and kids love them? That is debatable, but at least they tried. I’ll get them to love this stuff one day, I guarantee it! Hope you enjoy!

Indian Aloo Gobi

I have really been in love with Indian food as of lately. I’ve always loved the flavors as there is always something so comforting, not only in the smell, but also the taste. Even my boys, who are not particular fans of Indian food (yet), love the smell. This particular dish, aloo gobi, is an Indian dish made with cauliflower, potatoes, and those great Indian spice. It is hands down a great main course, or side dish to be eating with awesome Indian bread such as naan or parathas. I like to make mine with a little more wet, only to scoop up that delicious gravy with some naan.

Aloo Gobi Recipe
Aloo Gobi Recipe

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 3 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • generous pinch of Hing powder (found at Indian grocery store)
  • 2 cups of fingerling potatoes, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1 small head of cauliflower, cleaned, cut into florets
  • 1 whole onion, diced
  • 2 Thai chilies, or 1 serrano, diced (adjust according to your heat preference)
  • 1 tbsp ginger and garlic paste
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne powder
  • 1/2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp dried ground fenugreek seeds
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup of fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • salt, to taste

Just to note, once you have these basic Indian spices, you are on your way in making all sorts of other Indian recipes and what’s not to love about that!?

Start by heating up a large skillet, enough to hold all of the potatoes and cauliflower florets, and heat it to medium heat. Add in the oil and let it come to temperature. Once the oil is heated through, add in the cumin seeds and hing powder. The cumin seeds will start to pop and turn color. Once that begins to happen, add in the onions, and give them a good stir, adjusting the heat if necessary. The goal is to sweat the onions, not caramelize them or burn them.

Aloo Gobi Ingredients
Aloo Gobi Ingredients

After about 4-5 minutes, add in the garlic and ginger paste, and give that a good stir. After about a minute, add in the remaining dry spices, and chilies, stir, and cook an additional 2-3 minutes, stirring along the way.

Add in the cauliflower and potatoes. Gently stir to incorporate the spices and garlic and onions throughout the potatoes and cauliflower. Cover, and cook for about 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, remove the cover, add water, and stir again. Cook for another 6 minutes or so, or until the cauliflower and potatoes are cooked through.

Indian Aloo Gobi Recipe
Indian Aloo Gobi Recipe

Once they are tender, squeeze the lemon juice over the top, along with the cilantro and a generous pinch of salt, give another good stir and plate.

The result is nothing more than awesome Indian comfort food. My wife thought it was too spicy, but ate the small bowl of aloo gobi, along with my daughter, so adjust your chilies accordingly. It was definitely right up my alley. If you are looking for a simple Indian dish to make, give this one a shot. I guarantee you will enjoy it.

Indian Aloo Gobi
Author: 
Recipe type: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
Ingredients
  • 3 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • generous pinch of Hing powder (found at Indian grocery store)
  • 2 cups of fingerling potatoes, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1 small head of cauliflower, cleaned, cut into florets
  • 1 whole onion, diced
  • 2 Thai chilies, or 1 serrano, diced (adjust according to your heat preference)
  • 1 tbsp ginger and garlic paste
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • ¼ tsp cayenne powder
  • ½ tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp dried ground fenugreek seeds
  • ½ cup water
  • ¼ cup of fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • salt, to taste
Instructions
  1. Just to note, once you have these basic Indian spices, you are on your way in making all sorts of other Indian recipes and what’s not to love about that!?
  2. Start by heating up a large skillet, enough to hold all of the potatoes and cauliflower florets, and heat it to medium heat. Add in the oil and let it come to temperature. Once the oil is heated through, add in the cumin seeds and hing powder. The cumin seeds will start to pop and turn color. Once that begins to happen, add in the onions, and give them a good stir, adjusting the heat if necessary. The goal is to sweat the onions, not caramelize them or burn them.
  3. After about 4-5 minutes, add in the garlic and ginger paste, and give that a good stir. After about a minute, add in the remaining dry spices, and chilies, stir, and cook an additional 2-3 minutes, stirring along the way.
  4. Add in the cauliflower and potatoes. Gently stir to incorporate the spices and garlic and onions throughout the potatoes and cauliflower. Cover, and cook for about 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, remove the cover, add water, and stir again. Cook for another 6 minutes or so, or until the cauliflower and potatoes are cooked through.
  5. Once they are tender, squeeze the lemon juice over the top, along with the cilantro and a generous pinch of salt, give another good stir and plate.
  6. The result is nothing more than awesome Indian comfort food. My wife thought it was too spicy, but ate the small bowl of aloo gobi, along with my daughter, so adjust your chilies accordingly. It was definitely right up my alley. If you are looking for a simple Indian dish to make, give this one a shot. I guarantee you will enjoy it.