Some years ago I was given the gift of a wild garlic plant. Given to me by Food Urchin blogger (http://www.foodurchin.com), foodie, content editor and social media manager Danny Kingston, I lovingly planted it in my south facing back garden.
If you have wild garlic available to you, whether in your garden or foraging (although my European friends tell me you can actually buy wild garlic in the supermarket), you might want to preserve it. My friend and food blogger Kavey has this advice on preserving wild garlic: https://www.kaveyeats.com/how-to-have-wild-garlic-all-year-round
I’ve been warned about how wild garlic can spread and “take
over” your garden. Somehow the winters in South London have managed to limit
the ambitions of my wild garlic plant, which is limited to a small corner of
the back garden flowerbed. I left it for a few years to acclimat
ise and build up its strength in its new home. I am well aware that bulb plants need to be left alone before you can bother them.
This year, it looked vigourous enough to take some leaves and flowers from to do some cooking with. After all, that was the point of growing it, right?
One of my Twitter friends suggested making a soup with the wild garlic leaves, so here is my version of wild garlic soup.
This makes enough soup for 4 portions. You can choose to make the soup and split it up into two portions, one to have now and another to have later. If so, then miss out the topping stage when you portion up the soup for the fridge. Leave the serving ingredients for when you reheat the soup and serve up. Remember that when you reheat you should not allow the soup to boil, but to heat up until it is piping hot (it is steaming and hot all the way through).
Wild garlic soup
500g floury potato, peeled and diced
50g wild garlic leaves (you can include the stalks as they are fresh and garlicky flavoured in the Spring, they are not woody at all), cut into strips.
One organic onion (medium to large), peeled finely diced. You could use a leek instead, particularly the green parts for the colour.
1 litre hot vegetable stock
2 tablespoons of olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
Salt, to taste (optional, as the stock may already have salt – check to taste)
2 leaves wild garlic, cut into narrow strips, to serve
4 wild garlic flowers, to servie
4 tablespoons double cream, to serve
First heat up the 2 tablespoons of olive oil on a medium heat and when hot, add the finely diced onion. Cook for 12 minutes on a low to middling heat. You want the onion completely soft but not coloured.
Next add the 500 g diced potato and 1 litre of hot vegetable stock. Cook this for 20-25 minutes on a medium heat.
While the potato was cooking, I shredded the wild garlic, leaves, stems and all. I left this until later to prevent the wild garlic from drying out or wilting.
Take the pan with the potato, onion and stock off the heat, add the wild garlic, stir well to combine.
Now blend the soup. I did this in the pan with my trusty stick blender. You can always use a worktop blender.
Once blended, add a sprinkling of raw shredded wild garlic, a drizzle of double cream (about 1 tablespoon per bowl) and a wild garlic flower. Season with freshly ground black pepper. Taste for the salt content and add salt if needed.
Enjoy immediately, unless you are reserving half for later, as per the instructions above.