More ramps, you say? Don’t mind if I do!
This one is a riff on the classic potato leek soup, but while that number is often loaded down with bacon & heavy cream, this version is light and Springy with lemon and just-barely poached ramp leaves. The wild, earthy ramp flavor is subtle (since I only had one bunch of ramps on hand) though distinctive, and I like the simplicity of flavors: potatoes, ramps, lemon, a touch of butter & pepper.Simple and lovely.
You could take this basic recipe in a lot of directions: char the ramps over open fire first, to lend a smoky flavor to the soup; substitute lime for lemon and add a bit of dried red chile to the mix; slice a few mushrooms into the mix and use chicken or beef stock for a hearty umami flavor. Whichever way you choose to take it, ramps make it special, and the ramp leaves continue to infuse the soup with flavor while it sits, making it even better on the second day. If it lasts that long.
- 3 tbsp butter
- 1 medium bunch ramps, bulbs & greens divided
- 1 large leek, trimmed, cleaned well, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
- 1 large carrot, peeled, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
- pinch dried marjoram
- 2 tsp sea salt, or to taste
- 6 cups water
- zest + juice of 1 small lemon
- 2 lbs potatoes, peeled and diced to ½-inch cubes
- freshly ground black pepper
- In a 5-quart Dutch oven or stockpot melt butter over low heat. Finely chop ramp bulbs; reserve leaves. Once butter foam subsides, add ramp bulbs, leeks, carrots and marjoram to the pot. Sprinkle with a large pinch of salt; stir to coat in butter and sauté, over medium-low heat, until vegetables are softened and fragrant, about 7 – 8 minutes.
- Add water, 2 teaspoons of salt, and potatoes. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, until potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes. Using an immersion blender, partially blend soup. Add black pepper, taste and adjust salt. Bring soup back to a lively simmer. Chiffonade ramp leaves and add to the soup. Cover, turn off heat, and allow to sit until ramp flavor has suffused the soup, but leaves are still bright green, about 5 minutes. Taste and adjust flavors once more. Serve warm.
- If you can’t source ramps you can approximate a similar soup using a combination of alliums: leek, shallot, scallions, wild garlic chives, etc.
- If your ramp supply is plentiful (and if so, invite me over? please?), you can replace the leek in this recipe with additional ramp bulbs and add greens from 1 more medium bunch, which will make the soup extra-rampy.
Refrigerated for up to 1 week. Frozen for up to 6 months.