For foodies, finding a patch of wild garlic in the woodland is like stumbling upon a cache of treasure. Between March and June, you can pick up its distinctive scent along forest paths, and the best thing is, when you find it, you tend to find a lot of it. With less heat and pungency than its domestic cousin, wild garlic can offer a wonderful way of imbuing your food with a garlicky flavour without the overpowering the palate. It’s great chopped and stirred through mash, and makes a terrific pesto, but one of the favourite wild garlic recipes we’ve come across is this sublimely well-balanced springtime soup from John Campbell of the Woodspeen cookery school.
- 100g butter
- 1 large onion, peeled and thinly sliced
- 2 large potato,peeled and thinly sliced
- 750ml water
- 400g wild garlic
- 200g spinach
- Salt and pepper
- Olive oil and chopped garlic leaf, bacon lardons to serve (optional)
Place a pan on a medium heat and add the butter.
Once the butter has melted, add the onion and cook gently, ensuring it doesn’t colour.
When the onion has started to soften add the sliced potato and cook for a further 10 minutes, not allowing it to colour.
When the potato is soft and cooked, add the water and bring to the boil for 5 minutes. Add the wild garlic and boil for a further 5 minutes.
Place in a blender and add the spinach (this is best done in two batches). Blend for 1 minute until smooth. Pour into a container and lightly season with salt and pepper to taste. (If preparing in advance, add some ice cubes when seasoning to chill quickly and to keep the freshness and colour of the soup, then place into the fridge, where it can be stored for up to 3 days.
If serving immediately, reheat gently on the hob, pour into serving bowls and drizzle some olive oil, chopped garlic leaf and cooked bacon lardons over the top.