It's easy to forget that new potatoes are actually something special this time of year. The humble potato's year-round availability has overshadowed its seasonal appeal. Though more often associated with the small, red-skinned variety, new potatoes come in all shapes and sizes. Dug while still immature, their sugar hasn't entirely converted to starch -- the result being a tender tater that's silky smooth. Coinciding with the season's green garlic and young leeks, new potatoes make a natural pairing in this fresh summer soup.
To give a vivacious contrast to such serene flavors, we incorporated verjus, a bright cooking juice that's made from pressed green or semi-ripe grapes collected during thinning. Incidentally, it fits into the 'new' theme, striking a lovely balance. You could serve this hot or cold (think vichyssoise). Either way, we highly recommend adding some crispy garlic and parsley oil to garnish.
New Potato, Green Garlic & Leek Soup
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon good olive oil
2 1/2 cups (about 5-6 stalks) leeks, roughly chopped, soaked in water and drained
1/2 cup (about 3-4 stalks) green garlic, roughly chopped (if using regular garlic, then 3 cloves, finely minced)
1/4 cup verjus
2 medium large white new potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
4 cups vegetable or chicken broth, warmed
2 pinches salt
Add butter and olive oil to a medium pot set over medium heat. Add leeks and green garlic, allowing the vegetables to sweat until quite tender, about 10 minutes.
Turn the heat to medium high and add verjus. Allow the verjus to reduce, about 3 minutes. Add the sliced potatoes, warm broth and salt, then simmer on medium low heat until the potatoes are really tender but not falling apart, about 1 hour.
Once cooked through, ladle the soup into a blender, a few portions at a time, whirling until completely smooth. Pour the blended soup back into the pot, stir to combine and serve with crispy garlic and parsley oil.
3 cloves garlic, sliced very thinly on a mandoline slicer (or with a sharp knife)
Preheat the oven to 270ºF.
Lay the thinly-sliced garlic in between two sheets of parchment paper placed on a baking sheet. Set a second baking sheet on top of this then bake for 15 minutes, or until crispy
1 cup fresh parsley, cleaned and dried
3/4 cup good olive oil
In a blender, whirl the parsley and olive oil until fully incorporated and vibrant green.