Wild garlic is the perfect place to start if you are new to foraging, hugely abundant in woodlands throughout the spring months, and also a very versatile ingredient, the ideal addition to salads, pesto, soup, and much more. The Scottish Wild Food Bible by Claire MacDonald includes lots of interesting uses for wild garlic, and we have chosen the Wild Garlic and Potato Soup as this week’s recipe.
Wild Garlic and Potato Soup
You smell wild garlic before you see it. During the spring months of March and April, the woods throughout Scotland are filled with the tiny whiteflowered wild garlic. If you are new to it, don’t think that wild garlic is much the same as the fat bulbs of garlic we buy in the shops. It isn’t. Wild garlic has a tiny bulb root, but the compensation for lack of root substance is that we can use the leaves in a number of ways and recipes. Wild garlic isn’t a strong taste, although its fragrance would make you think that it is!
3 tablespoons rapeseed or olive oil
2 medium onions, peeled, halved and chopped
450g (1lb) potatoes, peeled and chopped
1.2 litres (2 pints) chicken or vegetable stock
2 rounded tablespoons finely chopped wild garlic leaves
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt, about 10 grinds of black pepper
Heat the oil in a saucepan and fry the chopped onions over moderate heat for about 5 minutes until they are transparent, but not changing colour. Stir occasionally. Then add the chopped potatoes to the pan, stir well, and continue to cook for a further 5 minutes, stirring from time to time. Now add the stock. Bring the liquid to a gentle simmer. Half cover the pan with its lid, and simmer gently until a chunk of potato squishes against the side of the pan with your wooden spoon, about
Stir in the lemon juice, salt and black pepper and whizz, using a hand-held blender, to a smooth texture. Stir in the chopped wild garlic leaves, taste, and add more salt and/or pepper if you think it is needed. Reheat to serve.