Vibrant Garlic and Greens Soup Recipe

Every week, we’re spotlighting a different food blogger who’s shaking up the blogosphere with tempting recipes and knockout photography. Below, Elizabeth Stark and Brian Campbell of Brooklyn Supper give the gray months a welcome jolt of color—and encourage spring to get here quicker—with a garlicky, verdant soup.

Photo: Elizabeth Stark

Garlic and Greens Soup (Adapted from this recipe by way of Orangette)
Serves 4

Today, a brief morning downpour greeted us as we left the house. The kind that makes everything smell like dirt. A spring rain. Once it had passed, I took a long walk. Suddenly, the warm sun was out, snow seemed to be melting in one giant gush, and the birds were chirping madly.

A week ago, I may have doubted it. But today, I tell you with total confidence that spring is coming.

With all this in mind, I came home after my walk to put up a post. I have a few things in the works, but they were all so wintery. Then I remembered this garlic, chive, and spinach soup. What better way to urge spring on than with a warming soup made from the very earliest spring crops? So here you are, an earthy, vividly green soup with the all the flavor of slow-cooked garlic, collards, spinach, and scallions. It comes together easily, but is absolutely brimming with the comforting perfection that makes a good soup so wonderful. Garlic breath, here you come.

This versatile soup is well-suited to any of the spring alliums. Try subbing in green garlic, garlic scapes, chives, leeks, or ramps as they become available. Likewise, kale or chard could easily be added, though I’d keep the spinach since it’s what yields the gorgeous color.

3 tablespoons butter
8 large cloves garlic, ends trimmed, smashed, skin removed, and rough chopped
1 cup collard greens, cut into 1/2 inch ribbons
1/2 cup diced scallions
4 – 5 cups young spinach
1 quart vegetable or chicken stock
Pinch ground cayenne pepper
Splash rice wine vinegar
Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
Quark
for serving (optional)

Heat a large stock pot over medium-low heat. Add the butter. Once melted, add the garlic, and cook for 5 – 7 minutes, stirring often to ensure the garlic doesn’t brown at all. Once garlic is soft, add the collards and cook for 2 minutes more.

Stir in the broth, bring soup to a gentle boil, then turn heat down to a simmer, and cook for 15 minutes. Toss in the scallions and spinach leaves, stir, and turn heat off. Set aside for 4 – 5 minutes. Then carefully purée the soup, working in batches if needed. Soup should have a smooth, velvety texture.

Pour back into the stock pot, and heat over low heat. Add sea salt and pepper to taste, as well as the cayenne and rice wine vinegar.

Ladle into bowls and serve with a swirl of diluted quark or crème fraîche.

More steaming soups to fill you up:

Miso soup that doesn’t require a recipe

Vietnamese pho for breakfast, because why not?

Creamy Parmesan soup that’ll transport you to Paris

What’s your favorite soup recipe? Tell us below!