Leave it to Alice Waters to come up with this ingeniously simple soup that turns simple, homemade vegetable broth into a more substantial, silky textured soup with the addition of semolina (coarsely ground durum wheat). This soup can be served as is with finely chopped garlic greens or can be embellished with a number of suggested additions.
In a heavy soup pot, bring to a boil:
2 quarts vegetable broth
1 herb bouquet, tied with cotton string (a few sprigs of thyme and parsley, and a bay leaf)
Stirring constantly with a whisk, sprinkle in:
1/2 cup semolina
Lower the heat and continue stirring until the semolina is suspended in the broth and no longer settles to the bottom, about 5 minutes. Add:
3 green garlic plants (bulbs and stalks), trimmed of green parts and chopped fine
Cook at a simmer, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, for 20 minutes. Discard the herb bouquet, taste for salt, adjust as needed, and serve hot.
Makes 4 to 6 servings.
• Add cooked, chopped spinach to the bowl when serving.
• Float shavings of Parmesan or pecorino cheese on top of each serving.
• Float a little herb butter on top of each serving.
• Add 1 cup shelled peas or thinly sliced snap peas after 13 minutes of cooking.
Adapted from The Art of Simple Food: Notes, Lessons and Recipes from a Delicious Revolution by Alice Waters (Clarkson Potter, 2007).