• 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 24 young garlic plants, white part only, halved lengthwise (about 8 ounces worth)
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 1/2 pounds (22 ounces) small red potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 6 cups (1 1/2 quarts) chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 to 2 1/2 teaspoons white wine vinegar, to taste
  • ground pepper to taste
  • thinly sliced garlic scapes, olive oil, and watercress, for garnish (optional)


  1. Melt butter in large, heavy bottomed stock pot. Add garlic and 1/4 cup of water. Bring to a simmer, then cover and cook for 15 minutes. Add the potatoes and remaining 1/2 cup water and simmer for 20 minutes. Add the broth, cover, and allow to bubble gently for 20 more minutes.
  2. Allow to cool slightly. Puree the soup in batches in a blender for 2 minutes until smooth. If a smoother texture is desired, pass the puree through a medium-fine sieve and return to saucepan. Stir in the cream and salt. Add the vinegar, 1 teaspoon at a time, tasting the soup after each addition, until it tastes good to you.
  3. Reheat the soup gently and serve in warm bowls. Grind black pepper generously over each portion and serve with slices of toasted or grilled sourdough bread.

Recipe from Chez Panisse Cooking. Image from Lindsay Landis,

The above recipe comes from Paul Bertolli and Alice Waters’ 1988 cookbook Chez Panisse Cooking. I used this as a reference recipe but I found the step where the potatoes are added and simmered for twenty minutes with just 3/4 cup of water to be a great idea but, to me, unnecessary. My other reference recipe was from Martha Rose Shulman writing in the NY Times. This recipe is more or less, a potato-leek soup accented with green garlic. Either will make a very good soup but my version sought a middle road leaning toward Paul Bertolli’s more vividly flavored one.¬†