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An easy wild garlic soup recipe from a MasterChef finalist

By Sarah Rankin

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Wild garlic soup.
Wild garlic soup.

Suddenly the mornings are brighter, the birds are singing and while I may not exactly be jumping out of bed, nor am I cowering under the duvet. So it seems spring may at last be here.

Nothing screams spring more than green veg; the first spring greens arrive, along with wild garlic and leeks and we’re ready to switch up red wine for white. I may even get my ankles out now the sun is weakly shining through the clouds.

SARAH RANKIN: Time to inject some culinary excitement into our menus

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I cooked a punchy spring broth last week; the perfect new season dish; full of healthy greens, immunity boosting veg, and topped with a stunning piece of fish to take it from lunch to dinner. I’ve used North Sea halibut, but hake or even an early season sole would be delicious too. You can find the full recipe on my website at www.sarahrankincooks.com

I’ve also been busy promoting my new cookbook, Kith, which is finally released to the world on April 18. I’m slightly apprehensive that something I’ve been looking at on a computer screen for the best part of 18 months is going to be out in the world in its physical form, but also hugely proud of what I’ve created.

It’s a seasonal celebration and includes chapters for every season, as well as kitchen hints and tips and sections on drinks, condiments and nibbles. I hope you love it as much as I do.

The very first recipe in Kith is this super simple and flavour-filled wild garlic soup.

Wild garlic is a bounty I so look forward to arriving in early spring. Foragers generally keep their spots to themselves, but wild garlic is probably the easiest foraged food to find. Its delicious scent is a tell-tale sign. You’ll find it near water or in damp, shady corners. When foraging, pick the longer, wider leaves close to the ground, but leave the bulb and root to allow for a crop the following season. The small white flowers are edible, as are the buds they grow from, which pickle beautifully. This almost doesn’t need a recipe, as it’s perfect in its simplicity.

• To serve four, you’ll need: 1 small carrier bag full of wild garlic leaves; 1 large onion, finely sliced; ½ leek, white part only, washed and thinly sliced; 50g butter; 1 large Maris Piper or King Edward potato, peeled and cubed; handful of spinach; 500ml vegetable stock; 30ml double cream; sea salt and fresh ground black pepper.

Wash your foraged leaves gently. Slice the onion and the leek finely, and cook in the butter with a bit of seasoning until very soft and sweet. This takes time – be patient and allow 15 minutes. Add a little water if the pan gets dry. Add the potato, spinach and stock to cover. Simmer for 10 minutes or until the small cubes of potato are very tender. Take off the heat and add in the garlic; it needs almost no cooking – just adding the leaves to the warm soup will wilt them enough to cook them, while still preserving the fresh flavour and colour. Blend and check for seasoning, and add as needed. Swirl in the double cream and enjoy with crusty bread and lashings of salted butter.

Sarah Rankin.
Sarah Rankin.

Sarah Rankin hosts regular Supper Clubs, Cookery Classes and cooking demonstrations all over Scotland. Her cookbook, ‘Kith – food for family and friends’ will be available soon. You can find out more about Sarah’s events and news by visiting www.sarahrankincooks.com or @Sarahrankincooks on Instagram or Facebook.

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