This recipe for creamy potato and ramps (some call them wild leeks) soup is a tasty springtime dish when ramps are at their best.
For some years now, ramps have become the darlings of foodies in the know. And despite being labeled "wild leeks," they really aren't leeks at all. Neither are they shallots or green onions, although they look like a green onions with one or two flat, broad leaves.
They are stronger than leeks, have a strong garlicky aroma and a mild garlicky flavor, and are actually related to the wild onion.
You won't find ramps at most local grocers. They grow wild in areas with moist soil and are typically harvested by devotees who have a secret stash they return to year after year.
So if you're lucky enough to have a line on a ramp patch, head there in the spring and make this delicious alternative to potato leek soup.
Gather the ingredients.
In a large skillet or Dutch oven, fry the bacon until crispy, remove from the pan, and set aside.
Add ramps and potatoes to the bacon grease in the skillet. Sauté on medium-low heat until the ramps are tender.
Sprinkle with flour and stir with a wooden spoon until the flour is absorbed.
Stir in chicken broth, bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer until the potatoes are tender.
Stir in the heavy cream and heat thoroughly without boiling.
Add salt and pepper to taste.
For a chunky soup, leave as is or blend a portion of the vegetables and return to the broth.
Serve hot, or cool to room temperature, cover, and chill thoroughly to serve cold as you would a vichyssoise. Garnish with crumbled bacon, and serve with crusty artisan bread and butter if desired.
Use Caution When Blending Hot Ingredients
Steam expands quickly in a blender and can cause ingredients to splatter everywhere or cause burns. To prevent this, fill the blender only one-third of the way up, vent the top, and cover with a folded kitchen towel while blending.
If a velvety smooth soup is desired, pour the entire contents into a blender or food processor and puree until thick and smooth.
How to Store
Leftovers of this potato and leeks soup can be placed in an airtight container and kept in the refrigerator for three to four days.