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Magnificent Obsession: Aster’s Green Garlic Soup

It's liquid springtime.

Green garlic soup from Aster

Green garlic soup from Aster 


For all of its virtues, soup is rarely the stuff of obsession. But the green garlic soup that Brett Cooper has plopped on the menu at Aster is a concoction built to inspire ardor.

To start, there’s its color, a vibrant, shimmering shade of green halfway between grass and Kermit. Then there are the garnishes scattered across its surface: a gossamer clump of fresh herbs, slivers of pickled fennel, sunny deposits of puréed Meyer lemon confit, and diminutive sourdough croutons. And, of course, there’s the flavor, which is bright, herbal, slightly sweet, and more floral than garlicky—you could say it’s liquid springtime.

Its inspiration, says Cooper, was just that: “the culmination of ‘green’ flavors from spring into summer, when they are abundant.” The soup’s base is made by slowly stewing green garlic, shallots, onions, and leeks in a lot of olive oil to, as Cooper explains, “develop some sweetness and cut the bitter, sharp garlic.” It’s then endowed with vegetable stock and yellowfin potatoes and processed with white balsamic vinegar, preserved Meyer lemon pulp, and more olive oil.

Like green garlic season, the soup is fleeting: Cooper expects it to disappear sometime in July. So go forth and savor while you can: Carpe allium. 1001 Guerrero St. (at 22nd St.), 415-875-9810


Originally published in the July issue of San Francisco

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