Sometimes the contents of a CSA box can be something of a mystery. It’s understandable, a CSA box gives you access to a world of produce you might never see at a regular grocery store. To me it’s really exciting to find a new mystery food, but hey I’m a food nerd. I understand it can be a little intimidating. I’m here to help.
Let’s say you’ve got your box (or bag) for the week, you look in and notice a bunch of long, stem-like items with what look like pointy, papery, unopened, flower buds on the end.
This, my friend, is a garlic scape. A garlic scape is the long shoot that sprouts from the top of a garlic bulb as it’s growing. Eventually, if left to grow the scape begins to curl into tendrils. It’s actually quite lovely, but garlic growers usually cut these off to allow more nutrients to go to the bulb itself.
Fortunately for us this means they show up in CSA boxes all Spring! This refreshing soup can be served chilled or slightly below room temperature. Serve it at a brunch or lunch alongside a light sandwich. It’s excellent when eaten outside on a warm spring day or even sitting in your office cubicle (as was the case for me).
Spicy Garlic Scape Gazpacho
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Serves: 4, makes about 4 small bowls of soup
- 1 small Fennel bulb,fronds removed and reserved
- 5 Garlic scapses
- 2 large green onions
- 1 Serrano pepper
- 1/4 Cup, plus 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 Teaspoon salt, divided
- 1/4 Teaspoon black pepper
- 2 slices honey oat bread, toasted and cut into large chunks
- 1 Cup pine nuts
- 1 Cucumber, peeled and chopped
- 3 Cups spinach
- 2 Tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 1 1/2 Cups chilled water
- Prehead oven to 400. Drizzle 1 tablespoon olive oil over fennel, garlic scapes, green onions, and serrano and season with 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper. roast at 400 for 30 minutes, until fork tender, turning half way through cooking time.
- Soak bread cube in enough water to cover. Squeeze out excess water and move bread to a blender. Add roasted fennel, scapes, pepper, pine nuts and 1/2 cup chilled water to the blender. Pulse until a smooth paste forms. Move to a large mixing bowl.
- Combine cucumber, spinach, vinegar, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and remaining 1 cup chilled water in the blender. Blend until smooth, about 1 minute. Once smooth pour in remaining 1/4 Cup olive oil and blend to emulsify.
- Whisk 1/3 of the cucumber mixture into the bread mixture until combined. Repeat with the remaining 2/3 of the cucumber mixture until combined. Return the entire mixture to the blender and blend to desired smoothness, about 1 minute. Serve chilled or just below room temperature and garnish with chopped garlic scapes or fennel fronds.