Also called ramps or wild leeks, these garlicky tasting leaves are in season for only a few short weeks. So take advantage of the season as long as it lasts. Not only do ramsons taste delicious, they also have many health benefits and cleansing properties. They are loaded with powerful nutrients called flavanoids and help combat seasonal allergies.
You can buy ramsons from well-assorted stores or find them in the wild. Just make sure you don’t confuse them with the toxic lily of the valley leaves. They look very much alike, however when you slightly scratch the ramsons, you will smell that telltaling garlic smell.
I like this soup here especially on a rather cold spring day, when winter still feels closer than summer and I crave some comfort food. It’s creamy and has some richness to it, and the ramsons give it a delicious garlic taste.
Ingredients (serves 4)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, finely diced
1 pound (about 500g) potatoes, diced (into half an inch/ 1cm cubes)
3 1/2 cups (800ml) vegetable stock
about 15-20 ramsons leaves
¾ cups (180ml) cream
Rinse the ramsons well under running water. Save one leaf per serving as a garnish if you like. Cut the rest into fine strips and set aside.
Add one tablespoon olive oil to a medium-sized pot and heat over medium heat. Add onion and sauté until it softens, then add potato cubes, sauté for another minute.
Add vegetable broth, bring to a gently boil and over low heat simmer for 10 minutes.
Remove 4 tablespoons potato cubes, place on a paper towel to absorb any liquids, then set aside.
Simmer the rest of the soup for another 10 minutes.
Add one third of the ramsons leaves, then puree with a handheld blender (or transfer to a regular blender).
Whip the cream until fluffy/ frothy. Don’t overdo – you don’t want fully whipped cream with stiff peaks, just slightly whipped cream. Add another third of the ramsons to the cream and gently mix.
And half of the cream mix to the soup and season with salt and pepper.
For the potato croutons, add the second tablespoon olive oil to a hot frying pan, then add the set aside potato cubes and fry for about 10 minutes until crunchy. Mix with the last third of the ramsons leaves.
Serve soup with potato cubes and top with some of the set aside ransom cream.
PS. Ramsons are also a great addition to any salad.