Straight outta the farmer's market, yo. It's my new obsession: green garlic.

The return of spring, for me, always brings with it an obsession with bright green—the color hardest to come by in the dead of winter, which is when I’m always dreaming of tender shoots and leaves. Green garlic is always a welcome surprise at my farmer’s market, and when it begins to show up around springtime (it will stick around through early summer, too), I like to make this vibrant green-as-green-can-be soup to highlight the color & grassy flavor of the season. This particular soup gets its verdant hue from not only green garlic and zucchini, but also a hefty dose of fresh basil and parsley, as well.

It’s almost supernaturally creamy (considering it doesn’t have a drop of dairy in it), for two reasons: the mild taste & wonderfully smooth texture of pureed zucchini, and the magic that happens when soaked raw cashews are blended into a rich, very cream-like puree. This is the perfect soup to hit all those ‘luxury craving’ sensors in your brain without weighing you down with overindulgence, and it’s an ideal spring or early summer dinner meal.

Green Garlic & Zucchini Soup

Makes 4 servings

2 bunches green garlic (about 1/2 lb.)
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 large zucchini, unpeeled and diced into ½” pieces (abut 1 ½ lbs.)
1 quart chicken or vegetable stock
1/4 cup fresh chopped basil
¼ cup fresh chopped flat leaf parsley
1 cup raw cashews (covered in water and soaked for at least two hours)
½ cup water
Salt & pepper, to taste

For Parsley Oil:

1 bunch flat leaf parsley
1/2 cup olive oil

Slice green garlic (crosswise, across the bulb) into ¼” sections, including the darker green tops. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium high heat, add the white and pale green slices of garlic (save the darker green slices for the moment, you’ll add them later so they don’t burn) and cook for 5 minutes, stirring with a wooden spoon. Add zucchini and the sliced green tops of the garlic, continue to stir as you cook for 5 more minutes, allowing everything to soften. Add stock, basil and parsley, reduce heat slightly to medium low, cover and simmer for 30 minutes. While soup is simmering, make the creamy cashew puree and parsley oil.

Heat a pot of water to boiling, drop 1 whole bunch of parsley into it and blanch for 10 seconds. Remove quickly and shock with cold running water (or an ice bath) to stop cooking; parsley should be bright green and lovely. Dry well and place in blender with ½ cup olive oil, blend to a fine puree. Strain through cheesecloth or a fine mesh strainer, save the resulting bright green oil for garnishing.

Drain soaked cashews and rinse well. Place in food processor or high-powered blender, blend until creamy and smooth. After 30 minutes, add to pot and continue to blend the entire soup mixture (you can do this is batches in your blender, or an immersion ‘stick’ blender is great for this) until smooth. Taste soup, add salt & pepper to preference. Serve warm, garnished with a freeform swirl of parsley oil.


Chive blossoms are one of those spring specialties I spend the entire rest of the year looking forward to finding at the farmer’s market or in a friend’s garden. The round, puffed clusters of delicate lavender blossoms nodding at the ends of comically long thin stems like cartoon flowers are almost their own reward just for their goofy beauty….but then there’s the flavor. Delicately onion-like, a little floral, just garden perfection. Chive blossoms are like nothing else, and that’s reason enough to look forward to them all year. 

I always make chive blossom-steeped vinegar and sprinkle the little lavender blooms on my salads, but a tartine of chive blossom compound butter with a thin layer of another spring favorite, juicy fresh radish slices, is my absolute favorite way to consume this treat. A tartine is nothing more than a slice of good bread all gussied up French-style, with something delicious spread on it—it doesn't need to be anything more than that, and this chive blossom butter is certainly excellent on its own. But the addition of thinly sliced radishes at the peak of their spring perfection, adds an element of crunch and faintly peppery bite that really completes this humble little snack in an elegant way.

Tartine of Chive Blossom Basil Butter & Radishes

Makes 4 oz. of compound butter

1 stick (4 oz.) good quality unsalted or cultured butter
10 chive blossom heads (large purple clusters of tiny blossoms)
1 tablespoon fresh basil leaves, chopped
1 teaspoon honey
½ teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
Rustic loaf of bread, sliced
Thinly sliced radishes (use your sharpest knife and try for translucent slices)

Let butter soften to room temperature in a bowl. Carefully rinse chive blossom heads and shake loose any garden grit, then gently blot them dry. Remove the tiny blossoms from the head and sprinkle them over the butter along with the basil, folding them in with a spoon or spatula as you do. Add honey, salt and pepper, check taste and adjust as needed. Extra compound butter can be re-formed into a stick shape, twisted up tightly in plastic wrap and saved in the refrigerator for easy slicing (use within a week for the best results).

To assemble, spread chive blossom butter on a slice of rustic bread, arrange as many thinly sliced radishes as you like on top, and maybe a tiny sprig of basil for color. Here’s to spring!