LAWRENCE MURPHY: Holding a classic soup to ramson

Leek and potato soup with wild garlic

Leek and potato soup with wild garlic

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The Harbour Coffee House in Commercial Road, Portsmouth

FOOD REVIEW: The Harbour Coffee House, Portsmouth

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Leek, potato and wild garlic soup

Serves four

Anyone who has had a walk in the woods recently will surely smell the waft of garlic as the Ramsons come to life.

This plant spends most of the time in bulb form until spring when it carpets ancient woodlands. Soon it will be in flower, and the seed pods appear before the leaves die and we have to wait until next spring for its bounty.

I am very fond of this little plant, not only for its pungency but also as an indication that long hot Summer days are just around the corner.

The leaves are strong in flavour and make an excellent butter for garlic bread. Blanched, the leaves’ intensity is softened and can be used in many ways in your kitchen.

In this recipe of a classic leek and potato soup, I whizz wild garlic leaf in at the end of the cooking process. It not only gives the soup a fantastic aroma but also imparts its’ great green colour. If you can’t get hold of any wild garlic, add extra garlic and whizz in some spinach for colour.

Ingredients

1 onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

2 leeks, chopped

170g potato, peeled and cubed

1 litre, milk

300ml double cream

Small bunch wild garlic, chopped

Seasoning

Knob butter

Method

1. Heat a large pan and add butter.

2. Once the butter is bubbling, add the onions, garlic, leek and potato. Cook on a low heat for five minutes without colouring.

3. Add the milk and cream. Season and cook until the potato is soft and the leeks are tender.

4. Add the wild garlic and cook for one minute.

5. Blend until smooth, check the seasoning and serve.

Lawrence’s restaurant is Fat Olives, Emsworth. fatolives.co.uk, 01243 377 914.

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