greens and garlic soup

garlic and greens soup // brooklyn supperLast night at around 5:30pm here on the east coast, something magical happened. All at once, at the dinner table I looked up and noticed that it was still light outside. Instead of the pitch dark we had become accustomed to, there was a faintly pink sunset just wrapping up. I mentioned it to Brian and the girls, and we all agreed that spring might really be here soon. Later, a glance at my Instagram feed showed that others had noticed the pink glow, too.

Then 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. 

garlic and greens soup // brooklyn supper
garlic and greens soup // brooklyn supper

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. (And props please for linking to this? These awful orange photos are proof positive that we all have to start somewhere.) 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.

garlic and greens soup // brooklyn supper

Garlic and Greens Soup (adapted from this recipe by way of Orangette)
makes 4 generous servings

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.


  1. says

    I think you may be a few weeks ahead of us but I’m going to hold onto the hope that spring really is nearly here. This soup sounds wonderful; bright and fresh and everything I want at this time of year.

    • says

      Hi Kathryn, We need the spring this year, don’t we? This winter’s been a doozy. I hope you are not completely waterlogged on your side of the Atlantic. Until the clouds part, at least we have good soups and mugs of tea to keep us warm.

  2. says

    Oh, my gosh, yes. I’ve been watching the light lingering after 5 o’clock for a month now, and it’s nice. It’s my first winter back on the East coast after more than a decade, and boy it’s a doozy. I’m pretty sure the ice mounds will be around until April! You have a lovely site — this green soup is especially pretty and nourishing.

    • says

      Hi Karen, You picked one heck of a winter to come back to. I hope you haven’t given up on the east coast altogether at this point! Thanks for your kind words about the site — I really appreciate it.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>