This recipe for creamy potato and ramp (some call them wild leeks) soup is a tasty springtime dish when ramps are at their best.
For some years now, ramps have become the darlings of foodies in the know. And despite being labeled "wild leeks," they really aren't leeks at all. Neither are they shallots nor green onions although they look like a green onion with one or two flat, broad leaves.
They are stronger than leeks, have a strong garlicky aroma and a mild garlicky flavor, and are actually related to the wild onion.
You won't find ramps at most local grocers. They grow wild in areas with moist soil and are typically harvested by devotees who have a secret stash they return to year after year.
So if you're lucky enough to have a line on a ramp patch, head there in the spring and make this delicious alternative to potato-leek soup.
- 4 to 6 slices bacon
- 4 cups ramps (including the green tops, chopped)
- 4 to 5 cups red potatoes (diced)
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup heavy cream
- Salt (to taste)
- Freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
- In a large skillet or Dutch oven, fry the bacon until crispy, remove from the pan and set aside.
- Add ramps and potatoes to the bacon grease in the skillet. Sauté on medium-low heat until the ramps are tender.
- Sprinkle with flour and stir with a wooden spoon until the flour is absorbed.
- Stir in chicken broth, bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer until the potatoes are tender.
- Stir in the heavy cream and heat thoroughly without boiling. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- For a chunky soup, leave as is or blend a portion of the vegetables and return to the broth. If a velvety smooth soup is desired, pour the entire contents into a blender or food processor and purée until thick and smooth.
- Serve hot or cool to room temperature, cover, and chill thoroughly to serve cold as you would a vichyssoise.
- Serve with crusty artisan bread and butter if desired.