by the handful

Nutritious culinary and healing recipes collected from the North American garden, orchard, forest, river and ocean

Green Garden Soup

There are a lot of different flavors and textures in the family network of green herbs and vegetables. It’s so easy in the late winter/early spring to basically just graze over the garden or farmers market and gather the ingredients for this soup. The reason is simple, these are the common vegetables and herbs that tend to overwinter and either stay alive in the garden or at least return in the spring. Onion scape blossoms are the flowering stalk of the overwintering plant and are an optional garnish. Parsley and mint almost always make in through the winter as does the hardy leek which actually tastes better after some cold weather.

Green Garden Soup

One whole leek

One zucchini

2 Tbsps clarified (ghee) butter

Fat handful of spinach leaves

Mint (small handful)

Parsley (small handful)

3 cups chicken or veggie stock

I red potato

A shallot

Onion, garlic or chive scapes


Clean and slice leek (see below) and chop zucchini. Melt 1 Tbsp of ghee butter in a sauce pot at med-high heat. Add leek and stir it up into the butter, then let cook without touching it until it begins to brown. Then add zucchini and a few shakes of salt, stir and cook just a minute more.

Remove blossoms from scapes and set aside. Roughly chop onion scapes and herbs and add to the pot. Add 3 cups of stock and bring soup to a simmer. Cover, reduce heat to low and let simmer for 20 minutes, adding spinach during the last couple minutes of cooking time.

Remove pot from heat and set aside. Place a skillet on the already warm burner and return temp to med-high, adding 1 Tbsp butter.

Chop potato into small cubes and slice shallot. Add potato to skillet, sprinkle with salt and begin to fry, shaking pan as to keep it from sticking. Cook potato until it begins to brown, then move it to one side of skillet and add shallot to other side of skillet. Add more fat if needed. Let shallot begin to brown, then reduce heat to med-low and continue to cook, allowing vegetables to finish. Meanwhile puree soup with an immersion blender, taste and season as needed. Ladle soup into four bowls and garnish with scape blossoms.  Next sprinkle shallots and potatoes to further garnish the soup.

Makes 4 appetizer or lunch portions. 


Cleaning leeks:  Begin by cutting the top dark green ends of the leeks off first. The green ends are straightforward to clean, just wash under cold water and set aside on a cutting board. Next, without removing the stem, slice the bottom light green part from above the stem to the end of the remaining leek. Turn the leek ¼ turn and make another cut the length of the leek. Run under cold water while snapping the leek like a deck of cards to get any grit out. Next, cut off the stem and disgard, slice the leeks crosswise and they are ready to go.


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