Garlic scapes are the curly green shoots that grow on young hardneck garlic and are harvested for a short time in early summer. I first encountered them in my farm share a few years ago and have been seeing them more and more at the farmer’s markets.
The scapes prevent the garlic bulb from growing further so they are cut off in this season. I kind of look at them as a cross between a green onion and garlic – fresh, crunchy and green with a subtle garlic flavor. I’ve enjoyed them in pestos and curries before and thought this time, I’d make a coconut curry out of them along with some of the vegetables I received in the share this week.
I got this tangle of small broccoli heads.
And I also got some sugar snap peas.
I combined the garlic scapes and vegetables into a curried coconut soup flavored with Indian spices, shallot, ginger, green chilies, lime and soy sauce. I paired it with some udon noodles, but I’m sure the soup would go nicely with spinach or egg noodles too. I also had some baked tofu (am a little addicted to this stuff) on hand so threw that in but you can also just lightly fry up some plain tofu and add that in to the soup.
8 ounces udon noodles
14 ounces (1 can) coconut milk
2 1/2 cups vegetable broth or water (can measure about a cup and a half of the coconut milk can)
2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil or ghee
1/4 pound garlic scapes, bulbs removed, cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
1/4 pound broccoli florets
1/4 pound sugar snap peas, end notches & fibers removed
1 shallot, cut into rings
3 ounces baked tofu or plain tofu lightly sauteed*, cut into cubes
2 small green chilies or 1 jalapenos, chopped small (to taste if you don’t like too much heat)
1 tablespoon ginger, grated
1/3 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon coriander powder
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1 teaspoon brown sugar (or to taste)
1 tablespoon soy sauce (or to taste)
salt to taste
Boil the udon noodles according to package directions.
While the udon pot is going, heat oil or ghee in a pot under medium high. Add your shallots to the pot and cook until just browning. Turn heat to medium and mix in the ginger and green chilies. Cook for 30 seconds until fragrant. Mix in turmeric, garam masala, coriander powder and cumin powder. Fry for a few seconds until fragrant and then pour in the coconut milk and water or broth.
Bring the pot to a boil and then simmer for 10 minutes. Add salt, sugar and soy sauce at this point and mix well. Add in the tofu and chopped garlic scapes and cook for a few minutes until scapes are tender. Add in the broccoli and sugar snap peas and cook for a minute until bright green and tender. Taste the soup at this point for additional salt, sugar, soy sauce to your taste. Turn off the heat and squeeze in juice of 1 lime.
Fill bowls with cooked udon noodles and ladle the coconut milk soup over them. Add in another squeeze of lime.
*Best way I have found to lightly saute tofu is to do so in a non-stick pan with minimal oil. Takes about 10-15 minutes on a medium heat. For the first few minutes leave the tofu cubes as is until they start to become golden brown on one side and then flip them gently until they have some golden coloring on all sides.