Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Ramp and Potato Soup

Ramps are one of my favorite vegetables. These wild leeks have an all-too-fleeting season, their special hybrid garlic-onion flavor one of the most unique tastes of spring. While asparagus is a well-known and lauded harbinger of spring, these delightful veggies really lead the way for the season. Their first appearance at the farmers' market fills me with great joy and I can't resist buying them every week they are there. Ramps are inherently so flavorful that they never need more than a simple preparation to create an intensely delicious dish. I've used ramps to make soups, pastas, pizza, risotto, and frittatas in the past, but this time my first thought was a riff on the classic leek and potato soup. Leek and potato soup is already a stunningly flavorful dish for such humble ingredients and swapping in ramps brings the taste to an even more exceptional heights. A perfect blend of the heartiness and freshness, this simple combination of ingredients is the purest taste of early spring and an exceptional way to embrace the season.

Ramp and Potato Soup
adapted from Food Network
serves 4

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 pound fresh ramps, cleaned and cut into 2-inch pieces
Freshly ground black pepper
1 bay leaf 
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 quart chicken or vegetable stock 
1 pound new or red potatoes, quartered
2 tablespoons heavy cream or half-and-half, (optional)

1. Melt the butter in a stock pot over medium-high heat. Add the ramps and season with salt and black pepper. Saute until the ramps are wilted and soft, about 6 minutes. Add the bay leaf and garlic, stirring for 2 minutes. Add the stock and potatoes and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer, uncovered, until the potatoes are very soft and the mixture is thick and creamy, about 1 hour.
2. Remove the soup from the heat. Discard the bay leaf. Coarsely mash potatoes with a potato masher or blend with an immersion blender. Slowly add the cream, if using, and stir to blend. Reseason the soup.

No comments:

Post a Comment