A Guide to the Summer Farmers’ Market

Wondering what might be available at the summer farmers' market? This guide will let you know what fresh fruit, vegetables, and plants you will see there. Also find ingredient spotlights, recipes, and more!

We’ve moved into summer, and into the most abundant season for farms. The sheer amount of produce from heirloom tomatoes, to stone fruits, to summer squash means that there is something for everyone at the summer farmers’ market! Let’s talk a little bit about what you might find there.

Infographic about the summer farmers' market

Summer is peak farmers’ market season and a great time for you to seek out your local farm stands and farmers’ markets. While many of the fruits and vegetables are going to be familiar and similar to the ones you will see in the supermarket, local produce has a few big benefits: freshness (since it didn’t have to travel far), heirloom varieties (different sizes, shapes, and colors), and flavor (there is nothing like a fresh picked heirloom tomato).

Where I live in Southeastern Mass, I have a great on-line resource (SEMAP), which links me to all the farmers’ markets in the area, along with many of the local farms and farm stands. I can also swing into the MassGrown site for all the markets across Massachusetts. I highly recommend you do an on-line search to find the resources in your area.

What Might You Find at the Summer Farmers’ Market?

Tomatoes

One of the biggest sellers and most common item at the summer farmers’ market and farm stands, is tomatoes of all types. And with good reason! Freshly picked, field ripened tomatoes are a completely different vegetable than that ones you usually find in the supermarket.

While supermarkets have gotten better over the years from the pallid, under-ripe, cellophane-covered tomatoes of the past, they can’t compete with the sheer variety of heirloom tomatoes. In addition to the usual red, you can find green (when ripe!), orange, yellow, purple, and black. Striped and speckled. In every size and shape. Visit my heirloom tomato spotlight for more info on heirloom varieties.

Just want a basic tomato to slice into your sandwich or salad? Farmers’ markets and farm stands have you covered here too! The basic beefsteak tomato overflows bins all summer long. The beefsteak tomato is the workhorse tomato of the farm stand – huge, full of flavor, less fussy than many heirlooms to grow, and still full of sun-kissed tomato flavor.

Summer Squash

There is a whole world out there beyond the basic green and yellow summer squash you find in the supermarket. As with many other vegetables, there are more colors and shapes than you might realize.

Some of the varieties you might find at the farmers’ market include – Cousa (with pale speckled green skin), Globe (as round as the name and great for stuffing), Zephyr (a two-toned squash which starts yellow and ends green), Pattypan (these look like little UFOs 🙂 ), and more! You won’t know exactly which varieties your local farms have on offer until you visit.

You might also find squash blossoms. Squash blossoms are an amazing treat for those who like to search out unusual produce. You can fry, saute, stuff them, turn them into soup, use them on a pizza. Check out this guide on how to use squash blossoms.

Watercolor style photo of green striped heirloom tomatoes

Other Summer Vegetables

In addition to tomatoes and squash, you are going to find all the other summer vegetables which grow in your area. Around here in the Northeast, that means corn, cucumbers, broccoli, carrots, eggplant, plenty of lettuces, all sorts of onions, new potatoes, and more. Each of these vegetables is going to be fresh, field ripened, and come in a number of heirloom varieties. Go look and maybe try something new!

Beans

Love green beans? Then you might want to try some of the other types of beans out there.

You’ll not only find a number of varieties of green beans and yellow beans, but you’ll also see purple beans, green and purple striped beans (like Dragon’s Tongue), flat beans (often called Romano or Italian green beans), and French green beans (Haricots Verts – very tender and thin). And those are just your tender beans! You may also get lucky and find some shelling beans – cranberry, butter beans, or mature dragon’s tongue are among the possibilities.

Peppers

Oh, and the peppers! There are so many types of sweet and hot peppers out there! And you may even be able to find some in the middle, which are basically sweet, but they have a little bit of a zing. Tiny to large, various colors, all sorts of shapes – there is a pepper for everyone who likes peppers.

Be sure to talk with the farmer about the heat level and find out what they recommend for your taste buds. (Or you could be adventurous and buy some and then get home and cut off a tiny bit and be all ‘whoa that’s hot!!’ but asking is good.) Here’s a guide with some of the peppers you might find.

Watercolor style photo of a red heirloom tomato

Summer Fruits

Vegetables aren’t all that you’ll find at the summer farmers’ market. There are all sorts of yummy fruits on offer as well. You may see figs, husk cherries, mangoes, papayas, grapes, and more.

Berries

Blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries will make their appearance in season at the market and they are all well worth picking up. I like to either eat them out of hand or use them in simple recipes which highlight their freshness. You might also find loganberries, gooseberries, currants, salmonberries, or other types, depending on the farms you see.

Melons/Watermelon

While melons and watermelons are unrelated, you will find them both during late summer.

There are all sorts of newly popular varieties of heirloom watermelons which are just the right size for a family to enjoy. No need to buy a giant watermelon anymore! Also, watermelons come in a bunch of cool colors. Different reds ranging from deep reds to light, orange, and yellow. If your farm stand or market has these multicolored watermelons, be sure to chat with the farmer to find out what color you might be getting. They can usually tell by looking at the rind.

And you haven’t had a melon until you’ve had a field-ripened melon. Whether you enjoy musk melon, cantaloupe, honeydew, or want to branch out to try some heirloom varieties, local melons are a treat.

Stone Fruits

And of course you will find stone fruits at the market or at a farm stand in the area. Various types of plums, peaches, nectarines, and cherries will have their moment in the summer. Some, like cherries, you’ll want to jump on the moment you see them since they’ll be gone quickly. Others, like plums and peaches, have a longer season so you can enjoy them for weeks.
Watercolor style photo of figs

Ingredient Spotlights for the Summer Farmers’ Market

Every so often I write up an article focusing on a particular ingredients with the history, nutritional information, and recipe ideas. Here are my summer ingredient spotlights:

Summer Farmers’ Market Recipes

Here are links to some of my content where you can find summer recipes. Each ingredient also has a tag and you can just look at the ingredient (I picked a few popular tags).

Also, I have a few roundups from other sites which will give you some more ideas.

The post A Guide to the Summer Farmers’ Market appeared first on Just a Little Bit of Bacon.

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Shadow Monster Black Bean Soup

    For my Wizard of Earthsea menu this month, I really loved the idea of making a recipe in honor of Ged’s shadow monster, the otherworldly beast he unleashes when he accidentally creates a tear in reality trying to call on dead spirits (y’know…as you do). The monster was a wonderfully spooky antagonist, and […]

The post Shadow Monster Black Bean Soup appeared first on Alison’s Wonderland Recipes.

Pinchos Morunos – Spanish Pork Kebabs

Pinchos morunos are a delicious Spanish tapas. These little pork kebabs are marinated and grilled then served with a paprika aioli sauce for a great summer appetizer.

Pork tenderloin lives up to its name, especially when it’s grilled up into meltingly tender, paprika and cumin spiced Pinchos Morunos! These little bites are a fun and tasty addition to a tapas party. And don’t forget the paprika aioli! The only thing better than a Spanish pork kebab is one with a yummy sauce for dipping.

Close up of two skewers of pinchos morunos on a small black plate. Wedge of lemon and dollop of aioli in the background.

Several years ago I was in the mood to make a little tapas party for dinner. So I spent the day puttering in the kitchen, and in the end, we had all sorts of little bites inspired by tapas I’ve enjoyed in restaurants.

Making lots of appetizers is one of my favorite ways to get all creative in the kitchen. Do you like that too? Are you my people?

Since each bite is only part of dinner, I can try new flavors knowing that there will be other dishes even one doesn’t work out quite the way I wanted. (Or I think it’s perfect, but no one else is a fan, because it contains eggplant or beets or other things the family doesn’t like too much.)

One of dishes I made was these Pinchos Morunos. Which, properly speaking, are not actually tapas! They are pinchos. Or pintxos. Depending on what region of Spain you are in. 🙂

What are Pinchos (or Pintxos)?

While I’m sure a Spanish person could get more into the intricacies of what makes a pincho a pincho, I have learned a few of the rules.

  1. Pinchos are frequently skewered.
  2. Pinchos are always separate bites, never one large dish which has been cut up into portions.
  3. While the cuisine has evolved, pinchos traditionally include a piece of bread at the bottom of the skewer.
  4. Pinchos can range from very simple bites to complex and inventive dishes.
  5. Lastly, pinchos are commonly found in the more northern regions of Spain. Particularly Castilla y Leon and Basque. In Basque they are pintxos.

Whether they are pinchos or pintxos or tapas, whether they have a skewer or not, and whether they include the traditional bread or they are pushing the boundaries of the form; they are all delicious little bites and we should include more of them in our lives.

Two skewers of pinchos morunos with aioli dripping down them and grilled bread to mop up the sauce.

How to Make Pinchos Morunos

So long as you are comfortable with an aioli, this pincho is super simple to make! (And, if you’re not, I’ll allow a ‘cheater aioli’ – but I recommend the flavor of the real thing.)

First up, trim and cube a pork tenderloin. Then mix up your marinade and toss the pork into it. Marinate the pork for at least 2 hours. I like to make the pork in the morning for that night’s dinner, or the night before if I’m having friends over for a midday party.

An hour or two before you are going to grill, start soaking your skewers. If you go for the 2 hour marinade time, put the skewers in the water now.

Preheat your grill and skewer up the pork. I generally use long skewers and then either make up little ones once the pork is cooked or lay out the pork in a bowl for people to pierce with a toothpick.

Grill the pork on high with the grill uncovered. Turning once or twice, until the pork is 140-145F. Don’t overcook! I did that once and I had the toughest pork tenderloin ever. I didn’t know it could be that chewy!

Make the aioli. You can do this the day before, while the pork is marinating, or while it’s cooking (so long as you have someone else to watch the grill).

Whisk together the egg yolk, salt, and a bit of lemon juice. Then slowly add the olive oil, while whisking continuously. Once all the oil is added, sprinkle in the spices and adjust the flavors/consistency to your liking. Keep the aioli chilled until you are ready to use it.

Serve the pinchos morunos with the aioli, lemon wedges, some grilled bread, and a nice glass of wine.

Step by step photos of how to make Spanish pork kebabs.

Recipes for a Tapas (Pinchos) Party

While I have a number of tapas on the site in my Spanish tapas category, I picked a few I think go quite well with pinchos morunos. I skipped deep fried (though, if you’re into that, I have some great ones) and went with a mix of tapas which are no-cook or easy to make ahead along others best served warm.

And, since you are going to need a little something to drink, I also have a few yummy sangria recipes! I have red, white, and rose for all your sangria needs. 🙂 You can go simple with some cold Cava, or a Rioja, but I love a sangria for a party.

Long skewers of pinchos morunos on a blue serving platter with wedges of lemon and a bowl of aioli.

If you try my recipe for Pinchos Morunos, I would love to hear from you in the comments with your experience and rating! You can connect with me by subscribing to my emails (see the form in the sidebar or below the recipe card), liking my FACEBOOK page, or by following me on PINTEREST.

– Happy Grilling, Annemarie

Pinchos Morunos – Spanish Pork Kebabs

Pinchos Morunos are a delicious Spanish tapas. These little pork kebabs are marinated and grilled then served with a paprika aioli sauce for a great summer appetizer.

Pincho Morunos

  • 1 pork tenderloin, (about 1 1/4 lb)
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 2 cloves garlic, (finely minced)
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Paprika Aioli

  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice, (divided – 1 tsp to start)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 clove garlic, (shaved on a microplane or finely minced)
  • 1-2 dashes cayenne, (or hot paprika)
  • 2 lemons, (cut into wedges)

Pinchos Morunos

  1. Trim the pork tenderloin, removing silverskin and fat. Then cut it into 1-inch cubes.

  2. Mix together all the marinade ingredients, either in a container just large enough for the pork (I use a 9×9 baking dish) or in a large sealable plastic bag. Add the pork to the marinade and toss to combine. Cover the container if needed and refrigerate the pork to marinate for at least two hours and up to one day. For the longer marinating time, stir the pork once or twice.

  3. At least one hour before you are going to grill, begin soaking the bamboo skewers. You will need 4-5 if you are using long skewers, and about 15 for short ones. (Count your pork cubes and plan on one short skewer for every 2 cubes.)

  4. Preheat the grill to high heat. While the grill is heating, thread the pork onto the prepared skewers.

  5. Grill the kebabs on high for 4-5 minutes per side, or until the pork reaches 140F in the center. Let the pork rest for a few minutes, then serve with the aioli, and grilled bread if you wish.

Paprika Aioli

  1. Whisk together the egg yolk, salt, and 1 tsp of the lemon juice. Once the color darkens and then lightens again, begin drizzling in the olive oil. Drizzle in the olive oil in a thin stream while continuously whisking.

  2. Whisk in another tablespoon of the lemon juice. Then taste the aioli and add more lemon juice if needed. Add the paprikas, garlic, and cayenne. Taste again and adjust the seasonings as needed.

  3. Aioli can be made up to one day ahead.

  • Portions: This recipes serves 8-10 as an appetizer (along with other apps at a tapas party) or 3-4 as the main course of a dinner. For tapas portions, use small skewers which will hold 2 cubes of pork per skewer.
  • Bread: Pinchos are usually served with bread. Slice up a nice baguette, brush it with olive oil, and grill it a minute or two a side (until browned). Then sprinkle with a bit of kosher salt and serve alongside the pinchos.
  • Aioli: If your aioli is too thick, add water by the teaspoon, while whisking, until it is the consistency you want.
  • Cheater Aioli: For cheater aioli, use 1/2 cup of prepared mayonnaise. Add the spices as written, then add lemon juice to taste. I also like to whisk in a tablespoon or so of extra virgin olive oil to give it that olive oil flavor.
Pinchos morunos are a delicious Spanish tapas. These little pork kebabs are marinated and grilled then served with a paprika aioli sauce for a great summer appetizer. | justalittlebitofbacon.com #summerrecipes #spanishrecipes #appetizer #tapas #grilling #porktenderloin #kebabs
Pinchos morunos are a delicious Spanish tapas. These little pork kebabs are marinated and grilled then served with a paprika aioli sauce for a great summer appetizer. | justalittlebitofbacon.com #summerrecipes #spanishrecipes #appetizer #tapas #grilling #porktenderloin #kebabs

The post Pinchos Morunos – Spanish Pork Kebabs appeared first on Just a Little Bit of Bacon.

Refreshing and Summery Blackberry Mojito

For an easy and refreshing summer cocktail bring together mint, lime juice, and rum along with fresh blackberries for a blackberry mojito! Great for a party or a warm evening on the deck.

Summertime is great time to kick back and enjoy a cool and refreshing blackberry mojito! Blackberry juice, lime juice, rum, and just enough mint make for a simple and satisfying cocktail which can beat back the summer’s heat.

Two blackberry mojitos on a wooden tray and garnished with blackberries, lime, and mint.

Or at least it can try!

I live in New England because I am not a fan of super hot weather. Which means that the last week of 90+ degree days has been puddle inducing. Ugh. Too hot and too humid to do much of anything.

Happily, I have a pile of great frosty cocktails I’ve developed over the years to get me through, including this latest cocktail.

It certainly got us through the heat when we went up to visit my cousin and her family recently. 🙂 I did up a big batch of mojitos, along with a little extra blackberry and lime base for the kids, and they were a big hit all around.

More Frosty Summer Cocktails for Hot Days

Side view of a blackberry mojito with a straw in the glass. Blackberries and lime scattered about.

How to Make a Blackberry Mojito

Start by pulling out your blackberries, limes, and few sprigs of mint. Once you have all that assembled, you’re just a few minutes away from enjoying a cold cocktail.

Mash up the blackberries. For one or two cocktails, I like to just mash them right in the strainer over a bowl. If you are making more, it does make sense to pull out the blender.

Once you have the strained blackberry juice, pour it into the shaker. Then squeeze enough limes to get about 2 oz of juice. (This takes me 2 1/2 – 3 limes, depending on their juiciness.)

Add the mint and gently muddle the mint into the fruit juices by twisting your muddler a few times. Next, pour in the rum, squeeze in some agave, and shake a few drops of bitters. Fill the shaker with ice and shake well.

Divide the drinks between two glasses, add ice to the glasses, and then fill with some soda water (a couple of ounces in each glass). If you wish, garnish the drinks with a blackberry or two and a wedge of lime. And maybe a paper straw too.

Step by step photos showing how to make a blackberry mojito.

How to Muddle Mint for a Mojito

One important part of making my blackberry mojito is to properly bruise the mint to release its flavor into the drink.

There are two schools of thought on how to do that.

For the first, the argument is that shaking the mint will bruise it sufficiently, so don’t bother muddling.

Simply give the drink a good, hard shake. Be vigorous and your mint will take care of itself. The beauty of this method is that it’s really hard to screw up. Since you aren’t pressing the mint, you aren’t tempted to overdo it and introduce grassy/muddy flavors into your drink.

The second requires a little more technique, but so long as you do it properly, you will have perfectly bruised mint in your drink.

The steps are:

  1. Add your mint to the bottom of your shaker or other sturdy glass.
  2. Add any sugar, fruit juice, or pieces of fruit which also need to be muddled.
  3. Gently press down and give the muddler a couple of twists. Your mint should look lightly bruised, but not mashed up or torn.
  4. Add the rest of your ingredients and make your mojito.

One more note – a muddler with teeth on the bottom is great for muddling lime wedges or herbs like rosemary but is too harsh for mint or other tender herbs. Instead use a smooth bottomed plastic or wooden muddler. Or the handle of your rolling pin. Or anything else unvarnished and food safe which is long and has a smooth end.

Top view of a hand reaching for a blackberry mojito.

Cocktails Accessories to Buy:

I love paper straws since they are biodegradable and come in lots of cool designs. (I picked a couple to link – look around the site for other colors and types.)

As for a shaker, I prefer a glass-bottomed cocktail shaker. You do need to hold it closed, but you don’t need to pry it open like many of the metal shakers out there.

Since we know now (from my discussion up above), that we need a flat bottomed muddler for mint, I have a plastic one and a wooden one. To keep the wooden muddler nice, don’t put it through the dishwasher and give a oiling with food grade mineral oil from time to time.

If you try my recipe for Blackberry Mojito, I would love to hear from you in the comments with your experience and rating! You can connect with me by subscribing to my emails (see the form in the sidebar or below the recipe card), liking my FACEBOOK page, or by following me on PINTEREST.

– Happy Drinking, Annemarie

Refreshing and Summery Blackberry Mojito

For an easy and refreshing summer cocktail bring together mint, lime juice, and rum along with fresh blackberries for a blackberry mojito! Great for a party or a warm evening on the deck.

  • 6-8 blackberries
  • 2 oz lime juice, (about 3 limes)
  • 12 medium mint leaves
  • 4 oz rum
  • 1 1/2 oz agave syrup, (or simple syrup)
  • 2-3 dashes bitters
  • ice
  • 4 oz soda water
  • mint leaves, blackberries, and lime wedges – (for garnish)
  1. Mash the blackberries in a bowl. Then pass the juice through a mesh strainer into your shaker and discard the seeds.

  2. Squeeze the limes into the shaker until you have 2 oz of lime juice. Add the mint and gently muddle the leaves to release their flavor.

  3. Add the rum, agave, and bitters. Fill the rest of the shaker with ice. Shake until the mojito is well mixed and cold.

  4. Divide the mojito between two glasses. Fill most of the rest of the glasses with ice and top it off with a little soda water. Garnish with more blackberries, a wedge of lime, and mint if you wish.

  • Straws: I always use paper straws in my drinks when I want a straw. They are better for the environment and come in lots of great patterns. You can get a chevron pattern (like I have in the photos), or go for stripes. Or check out other colors and patterns.
  • Blackberries: It is not strictly necessary to strain out the seeds, but I don’t like dealing with them in my drink.
  • Rum: I prefer a golden rum in the mojito; however, you can use a white rum or even a dark rum.
  • Virgin Mojito: For a kid-friendly (or just want a cold drink) version, mix together the blackberry juice, mint, lime juice, agave, and bitters. Then add a couple of tablespoons of the mix to each glass and top with soda water and ice.
  • Muddling: Instead of muddling the mint, you can vigorously shake the mint in the drink with ice. This will bruise the mint with less chance of overdoing it.
For an easy and refreshing summer cocktail bring together mint, lime juice, and rum along with fresh blackberries for a blackberry mojito! Great for a party or a warm evening on the deck. | justalittlebitofbacon.com #summerrecipes #drinkrecipes #cocktails #mojito #blackberries
For an easy and refreshing summer cocktail bring together mint, lime juice, and rum along with fresh blackberries for a blackberry mojito! Great for a party or a warm evening on the deck. | justalittlebitofbacon.com #summerrecipes #drinkrecipes #cocktails #mojito #blackberries

The post Refreshing and Summery Blackberry Mojito appeared first on Just a Little Bit of Bacon.

Cold Potato and Garlic Scape Soup (Vichyssoise)

Wondering how to use garlic scapes? A great way to use them is to make a cold garlic scape soup! Perfect for summer and easy to make ahead. Scapes and leeks sauteed in butter and simmered with potatoes make a great twist on the classic French vichyssoise.

If you love the classic French soup, vichyssoise, then you need to try my version using garlic scapes! This cold garlic scape soup is light and fresh and perfect to make ahead for all sorts of spring and summer entertaining.

Top view of bowls of garlic scape soup garnished with grilled bread crumbs, basil, and swirls of cream.

We are back to the garlic scape time of year! As soon as I saw them at my local farm stand (Langwater Farm!), I had to snap up a few bunches and try out some recipes.

This year’s recipe winner in the garlic scape sweepstakes is a cold garlic scape soup, based on my favorite version of vichyssoise. (Which I will note that I can’t spell to save my life. It’s all copy and paste here. 🙂 ) While I can’t spell it, I do love it and can make…I’ll be honest here…a pretty awesome, kick-ass version of the soup.

I first had my Platonic ideal of vichyssoise many years ago at winery restaurant in Sonoma as we looked over the vineyards and sipped white wine. While those surroundings will give anyone an especially positive feeling about whatever they’re eating, that soup was special and I went right back home recreated it.

And now I’ve given it a twist by adding garlic scapes to it! Yum.

More information on Garlic Scapes and Recipes:

A bowl of cold garlic scape soup topped with garnishes. Grilled bread and garlic scapes scattered about.

How to Trim Garlic Scapes for Soup

While the entire scape is edible, I do prefer to trim off the bulb end. As you can see in the photos I trim the scapes just below the point where the scape bulges out and then use the smooth bottom end of the scape. I find that the bulb end of garlic scapes can be tough and stringy.

If your scapes are a little on older side, then you may need to also check the cut end to see if it is woody or dry. Give them a little trim to take off the brown bits from where they were cut and look at the freshly cut end. If it is green and fresh looking, you are are good to go. If not, trim off a little more.

Garlic scapes and how to trim them.

How to Make Garlic Scape Soup

While the word, vichyssoise, can make you think the soup is complicated, don’t worry! Garlic scape soup is simple to make so long as you have a soup pot and a blender.

First, saute the sliced leeks in butter until they are tender. Then, add the scapes and give them a saute too.

Next up, add the potatoes and some of the stock and let the soup simmer until the potatoes are soft. Once all the veggies are cooked, add in the rest of the chicken stock and cream (which will cool off the soup for the blender), and puree it all until smooth.

Now’s the tough part! You need to let the soup cool until it is completely cold. In fact, a little time in the freezer (20-30 minutes) just before serving makes it even better. To make dinner easy, cook and chill the soup in the morning or the night before you are going to serve it.

Shortly before you serve the soup, slice up a baguette, brush the slices with olive oil and sprinkle them with salt, and grill them until golden brown. Cut the grilled bread into croutons and use them as garnishes for the soup. The croutons aren’t strictly necessary, but they add great flavor and crunch to the soup, so I would highly recommend making them.

Step by step photos of how to make garlic scape vichyssoise.

Is vichyssoise a French recipe?

This is one of those yes and no questions!

Potato leek soup is a classic French recipe which is well known and enjoyed throughout the region. However, the French generally eat their potato leek soup hot, not cold. They also don’t call it – whether hot, cold, or room temperature – vichyssoise.

Along with potato leek soup in general, the cold version of the soup, made by adding cream to it, was also first created in France, by at least one young boy who didn’t want hot soup in the summer. The cooled off, creamy soup was a childhood favorite of the French chef, Louis Diat, which he enjoyed in his hometown, not too far from Vichy.

However, the cold soup was named and popularized only after Chef Diat came to NYC in the early 1900s. He drew on those childhood memories and created the soup we know as vichyssoise while at the Ritz Carlton.

So, you will definitely find potato leek soup in France. And you may find a cold version in the summer. However, unless you are in a restaurant which heavily caters to American tourists, you are unlikely to find any soup called vichyssoise.

A spoonful of garlic scape soup with a crouton. Another bowl of soup, grilled bread, and garlic scapes in the background.

No matter the origin, ice cold vichyssoise is a perfect soup for a warm, summer’s evening and is a great way to use those garlic scapes you found at the farm stand or recieved in your CSA share.

If you try my recipe for Cold Garlic Scape Soup, I would love to hear from you in the comments with your experience and rating! You can connect with me by subscribing to my emails (see the form in the sidebar or below the recipe card), liking my FACEBOOK page, or by following me on PINTEREST.

Cold Garlic Scape Potato Soup (Vichyssoise)

Wondering how to use garlic scapes? A great way to use them is to make a cold garlic scape soup! Perfect for summer and easy to make ahead. Scapes and leeks sauteed in butter and simmered with potatoes make a great twist on the classic French vichyssoise.

  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 medium leek, thinly sliced, (white and light green parts only)
  • 1/2 cup chopped garlic scapes, (approx. 8 scapes)
  • 1 medium yellow potato, (peeled and cut into 1/2 inch dice)
  • 4-6 cups chicken stock, (low or no sodium)
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 slices baguette, (each about 1 inch thick)
  • olive oil, (for brushing the bread slices)
  • chopped fresh herbs such as basil or parsley, chopped garlic scapes, half and half, (as garnishes)
  1. In a large pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Then add the leeks with a sprinkle of kosher salt and saute until soft, 6-7 minutes. Adjust the heat as needed to keep the leeks from browning too much. A little browning is okay, but the leeks should still be mainly green.

  2. Add the garlic scapes and saute for 2-3 minutes. Then add the potatoes, 2 cups of chicken stock, salt, and pepper. Bring the soup to a simmer and cook until the potatoes are completely tender, 15-20 minutes.

  3. Take the soup off the heat; add in another 2 cups of chicken stock and the half and half. Then puree the soup until smooth in the blender. (You may need to do it in two batches.)

  4. Pour the soup into a bowl. Taste and add more stock, salt, or pepper as needed. Chill the soup for at least 4 hours in the refrigerator.

  5. Preheat the grill. Once the grill is hot, brush the slices of bread with olive oil and give them a sprinkle of kosher salt. Grill the bread until it has dark grill lines and it is browned on both sides. Cut the bread into cubes.

  6. Serve the soup with grilled croutons and garnishes such as chopped herbs, a swirl of cream, fresh ground pepper, and chopped garlic scapes.

  • Leeks: Leeks tend to be gritty. Rinse the sliced leek in a colander before adding it to the pot.
  • Body/Texture of the Soup: The soup should be fairly thin. This is not a hearty winter potato soup, but a light and summery soup. Thin the soup out with more stock as needed until you are happy with the texture.
  • Stock: Since you will be using so much stock in the soup, it is important that the flavor of the stock be at its best. Use a stock (either purchased or homemade) which you enjoy the taste of all by itself.
  • Garlic Scapes: While you can eat the whole scape, I prefer to trim them just below the bulb and slice up the curly thick area of the scape for this recipe.
  • Chilling: If you want the soup to be extra cold, put it in the freezer for 20-30 minutes before serving.
Wondering how to use garlic scapes? A great way to use them is to make a cold garlic scape soup! Perfect for summer and easy to make ahead. Scapes and leeks sauteed in butter and simmered with potatoes make a great twist on the classic French vichyssoise. | justalittlebitofbacon.com #summerrecipes #souprecipes #garlicscapes #frenchrecipes #vichyssoise #coldsoup
Wondering how to use garlic scapes? A great way to use them is to make a cold garlic scape soup! Perfect for summer and easy to make ahead. Scapes and leeks sauteed in butter and simmered with potatoes make a great twist on the classic French vichyssoise. | justalittlebitofbacon.com #summerrecipes #souprecipes #garlicscapes #frenchrecipes #vichyssoise #coldsoup

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