Quick! Take to the front yard. Or the back yard if you prefer.
It’s wild garlic season, and in another month it will be much too hard to pull up.
They look vaguely like a bunch of chives, though decidedly more hearty.
There’s something woody looking about them at the base. They will smell faintly like garlic if you get your nose very close.
Pull them up, at least a cup full. They will dry well and you want to get it while you can.
Then give them a rinse and peel back their outer layer, it’s a bit too course.
Trim off the green part of the stalk…
Then snip off the root.
You should have clean white, glistening bulbs.
You will also want to gather a nice fennel bulb, some red skinned potatoes, vegetable stock, and cinnamon, cardamom, and cayenne. There are two more secret ingredients to come…
Blanch the garlic in boiling water for 3 minutes. This will help take out any offensive edge. We don’t need to keep the vampires away with this soup.
Strain the garlic under cold water…
And they will be a bit translucent and tender.
In the same pot, heat some olive oil.
Add the garlic and fennel and brown them gently.
Sprinkle them with salt to help release the juices.
Add the potatoes once the fennel and garlic are well sweated.
And also the vegetable stock.
Let it all simmer for about an hour, until fork tender.
Puree the mixture well, for 2 or 3 minutes.
If you get bored, watch the wild turkeys out the kitchen doorway. They are everywhere these days, trying so hard to show of for the girls, fanning their feathers, strutting, just looking to mate. I almost feel bad for the show offs.
Secret ingredient #1. I learned this technique while cooking in France. Instead of adding cream to your soup, which I prefer not to do, you can emulsify it with olive oil in the blender. It gives in an airy, yet silky quality which I love.
Try it, I think you will love it too. It makes it a true vegan soup.
Now you will need to strain it. I wish this weren’t necessary but it is in this case, because the wild garlic possesses fibers that aren’t harmful to eat, but have the mouth feel of…well… cat hair. But it only takes a moment.
Then return the soup to the pot, but don’t turn on the heat.
Stir in your spices.
And secret ingredient #2. Sherry. It makes the world go round.
Add a dash. Or two. Depending on your mood.
And please, please, for the love of soup, add your favorite fresh herb. I chose thyme because the nice man at the nursery gave it to me for free yesterday, along with three basil plants and a sage plant. All for free I tell you! But had he had chervil, I would have used chervil. But thyme was nice too. Chop it up and sprinkle some into each bowl.
This soup is very silky and clean tasting, my panel of tasters, which may or may not have included a wild turkey, declared it the best thing I’ve ever made. Give it a try!
Some fun wild garlic facts:
~ Wild garlic was introduced from Europe where it was used as a flavoring in food
~ It has four and half times more sulfur compounds than common garlic, which means it is intensely good for you, offering all kinds of antibacterial and antiviral properties
~ It is considered one of the most versatile plants on earth and has been used for thousands of years to maintain and improve health