Foragers spring green soup -ramsons and nettle hearty soup

I like to walk hedgerows and bridal paths nearby and watch them as spring develops.

On Sunday (early April) I took a walk in the spring rain to find some spring greens for a soup.

One of the best known and used are ramsons or wild garlic.

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It has a pungent smell and nothing else smells like it.. so shouldn’t be too easy to get wrong, but as always, be sure.

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The flavour after cooking is much milder than the aroma.

 I took about a dozen leaves and saved some back for later use.

New nettles looking vibrant and splashed with spring rain can be irresistable

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so I picked a few nettle tops.

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The tops are more tender than the lower stems which can be a lot tougher and less pleasant. You need to pick before there are any signs of flowers.

I took about half a carrier back but only used half this and used the rest to make teas.

The rest of the ingredients were store cupboard/food waste rescue.

Recipe for foragers spring green hearty soup

6-8 ramson leaves -save a few flowers/flowerbuds for decoration

around 10 nettle tops

650g bag of frozen broad beans

150g green lentils

75g organic camargue or brown rice

1 onion

I added a handful of chopped baby leeks from the garden could add a spring onion or half a tender leek

1 -1.5 litres of chicken or veg stock

Method

First wash all of the leaves thoroughly

If you find a garlic bulb (looks more like the bottom of  a spring onion than a shop bought one!) then plant it in the garden (waste not want not!)

Bring a pan of water to the boil and prepare a bowl with ice for blanching

Boil the nettle leaves for around 5 minutes and plunge into the icy water to keep their colour

Add the ramsons to a heavy bottomed pan with a knob of butter and soften for a few minutes

Toss in the nettles and stir in a little stock

Puree with a hand blender, retain a little for decoration later (it’s a beautiful green colour)

Toss in the broad beans, lentils and rice with the rest of the stock and stir occasionally whilst cooking down

Add more stock/lentils for thickening/thinning if required

Retain a cup/half cup of this mixture

Chop and fry the onion and leek/spring onion let it begin to brown and sweeten, retain some for garnish

Add the rest to mixture

Blitz with a hand held blender as you like it

Return the saved mixture to the pan to add texture and show off your ingredients

Serve with a swirl of creme fraiche and a swirl of the bright green saved nettle and ransom mix

Add some flowers/buds for decoration and sprinkle with the onions

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It was very good, puts a glow on your cheeks and a smile on your face

I had some with early purple sprouting broccoli tips too from my neighbours garden a nutty quality that was so good with this soup 🙂

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we had it with pasta too, I think it would adapt well for a few pasta dishes

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