Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Potato Wild Leek Soup

Ramps (Wild Leeks) finally getting plump
Went "Into the Woods" to gather some up for supper (and more)

Dug about 1/2 dozen bunches, give them a good shake
About enough to fill a grocery bag without packing

Rinse under the hose and toss into a cooler
Then, I choose to trim them outside
Wonderful fragrance, but very strong

Another rinse for the bulbs once inside
(Save the tops/leaves for pesto ... later, and I save in cold water)

About the only changes I make to the following recipe is to hit the mix a couple of brief times with a hand blender, but not too much, keep some chunks. I also added about a cup of Pino-Gris.
Garnish with a bit of Parmigiano-Reggiano and chopped bacon.

Straight from "My North" (Traverse Magazine)
Stalking the Wild Leek - My North - April 2008 - Northern Michigan:

Potato and Wild Leek Soup

* 4-6 slices bacon (optional)
* 4 cups chopped wild leeks, including greens
* 4-5 diced red potatoes
* 3 tablespoons flour
* 4 cups chicken broth
* 1 cup heavy cream
* Salt and pepper to taste

In a large skillet, fry bacon until crispy. Set bacon aside. Add leeks and potatoes to the skillet; fry on medium-low heat until leeks are tender. Sprinkle with flour; stir until flour is absorbed. Stir in chicken broth and simmer until potatoes are tender. Stir in cream and heat thoroughly. Add crumbled bacon and salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with chopped leek leaves if desired. Serves 4-6.

A photo-set:

Potato Wild Leek Soup - a set on Flickr

Wild Leeks Dos and Don'ts

* Do preserve leeks by pickling, drying or freezing. Just blanch first for 2-3 minutes.
* Do use both the bulb and milder leaves
* Do use a tool like a long knife or dandelion digger to help loosen the root hairs that grow from the tip of the bulb
* Do store, unwashed, in refrigerator for up to one week.
* Don't leave piles of leeks on the kitchen counter too long or your kitchen will smell like a bus in Rome on a midsummer day"


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