Wild Garlic Soup to start off the Spring

by meike peters

Wild Garlic Soup

Walking through the forest is one thing I miss the most living in the city. Its earthy smell, the musty air captured by the trees changing with the seasons makes me feel at home. Especially in spring, when the green comes out again and everything smells light and fresh with the first flowers starting to blossom. I want to walk on soft soil watching nature unraveling around me!

One of the most distinct smells you can find at the moment when walking though a European forest close to a river or lake is the smell of garlic, wild garlic. Coming from a little plant which covers the ground in large areas and looks similar to lilies of the valley. It’s a wild relative of chives also known as ramps, ramsons, buckrams, wood garlic or bear’s garlic as they must be quite taken by it. In taste it’s similar to chives but with a unique touch to it, spicy, a bit like garlic but fresher, more “green”. The leaves are best when young and fresh, great in pesto, soups or to spice up other vegetables and meat.

I’m totally with the bears, I love cooking with it and when I spotted it at the market I got excited and had lots of recipes on my mind. Inspiration for the weeks to come! I will start with a tangy but smooth soup, the leaves of two bunches of wild garlic, potatoes, onion and a few spring onions on top. It doesn’t take much to make this springy soup of the forest!

Wild Garlic Soup

Wild Garlic Soup

For 4 people you need

wild garlic, rinsed and stems cut off, the leaves of 2 bunches (around 100g / 3.5 ounces)
potatoes, cut into cubes, 750g / 1.5 pounds
onions, chopped 2
water 1500ml
heavy cream 180ml
salt and pepper
olive oil for frying
spring onion, cut into thin slices, 1 for topping

In a large pot, bring the water to the boil and cook the wild garlic for 2 minutes. Take it out with a slotted ladle, rinse under cold water for a few seconds but keep the boiled water! Fry the onions in some oil until golden, add the potatoes, some salt and the water used to cook the wild garlic and cook for 12 minutes or until the potatoes are soft. Add the wild garlic and cream and mix in a blender till smooth. Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with spring onions when served on plates.