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“Wild Garlic Soup”

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

“Wild Garlic Soup”

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 25 minutes

Yield: 6 cups or 4-6 servings

“Wild Garlic Soup”

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup wild garlic, cleaned, green stalk snipped, outer layer peeled, and root removed
  • 2 cups fennel bulb, diced
  • 2 cups red skinned potatoes, cut into small chunks
  • 8 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 tablespoons + 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 pinch cardamom
  • 1 pinch cinnamon
  • 1 pinch cayenne
  • 2 tablespoons sherry
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chervil or thyme
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Blanch the garlic for 3 minutes in a large heavy-bottomed pot filled with boiling water, then drain and run under cold water and set aside.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in the same pot and sweat the fennel and garlic until browned, soft and translucent. Sprinkle with salt along the way to help release the juices.
  3. Add the potatoes and vegetable stock and simmer covered for about 1 hour, until potatoes are fork tender.
  4. Transfer all contents of the pot to a blender and puree on high for 2-3 minutes. In the last 30 seconds, pour the 1/4 cup olive oil in a thin steady stream to emulsify the soup.
  5. Pour the contents of the blender through a fine mesh strainer back into the pot, leaving the heat off. This will remove the woody fibers from the garlic. Mix in the cardamom, cinnamon, cayenne, and sherry. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve in bowls with a sprinkling of fresh herbs. This soup is also wonderful served at room temperature or chilled and is even better the next day.
http://georgiapellegrini.com/2011/05/03/recipes/wild-garlic-soup/

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Comments

  1. Wow! I never would have thought, Georgia! Thanks so much.

  2. i want some!

  3. This looks delicious! I love the idea of using oil instead of cream! I also like the picture of the turkey. Great post, thanks for sharing!

  4. PJ Mouquin says:

    I’m going to try this recipe! I remember when you and your Daddy collected the wild “chives” to make an omelet. You were in preschool at the time. This morning I had an old Mouquin restaurant recipe that was written up in an OHenry short story: dent de lion avec oeuf I steamed dandelion greens and served them with a poached egg on top!

  5. RRubio says:

    Wow! I made this. It is fantastic! Thank, Georgia. I have been wanting to do something with the wild garlic in my yard for years.

  6. I love your blog; just discovered it and it’s fabulous. This recipe looks amazing and I can’t wait to try it. Thank you for sharing. Have a great night!

  7. That looks mighty tasty. I don’t think we have that plant here. Couldn’t I use a leek and/or garlic? Change the name, of course.

    • Georgia says:

      Yes, I think if you blanch regular garlic cloves many times it could work. And leeks would be nice of course too. Let me know if you do it and how it turns out! It really is wonderful and so clean tasting.

  8. we make wild onion soup every spring! yum!

  9. Penny Wolf says:

    I love the look of this recipe and am going to try garlic scapes in place of the garlic. I am uncertain of amounts of scapes though. We aren’t
    afraid of flavor but still I do not want to ruin the soup. I am thinking of an even swap. What are your thoughts?

    • Yes, go for an even swap. You can always add more vegetable stock if need be, but if you blanch the scapes the way I did the green garlic you should be fine. Let me know how it goes!

  10. Georgia says:

    Oh great, sherry works wonders! I like texture too with soup. I only strained it because wild garlic has these sharp fibrous bits that feel funny in the mouth. But I don’t think scapes do. And now that I think about it, you may not need to blanch scapes. Take a taste of them raw and see how assertive they are and go based on that. I’m glad it was a success!