Spring Forager's Soup - Wild Garlic, Dandelion Greens, Nettles & Potato
This is a great recipe for your foraged finds and garden weeds that is straight forward but delicious, and isn't yet another pesto!
Every year I resolve to forage for food more, but every year I make one or two trips, let my collection wilt still in its reusable shopping bag, then abandon my endeavour, hoping to do better next year. I released recently that this is largely because while there's a lot of information out there on what you can forage, there aren't a lot of recipes for how to use it, aside from eating it raw in salad or pesto. We're lucky enough to live in the valley of a small river, so we've got an abundance of wild garlic, wild leek, and other greenery here. I decided that I need to trust my culinary instincts, and just taste the raw food and develop recipes in the same way I would with any other vegetable. This dish is the result. Let's hope there's more to come!
This dish is a bit like a cross between a classic leek and potato soup, and a saag aloo. It's creamy yet light and full of spring flavour. You can pretty easily scale this up to make a big batch if you like, keeping it for up to 4 days in the fridge or 3 months in the freezer.
The method here is pretty straightforward - sauté, add liquid, boil, blend. You can easily use cooked or raw greens for this without issue, although I used ones I'd already blanched and cooled in ice water, just make sure you use a lot more if they're fresh because they'll shrink A LOT.
Spring Forager's Soup vegan, gluten free, one pot, easy
1 tablespoon rapeseed, sunflower or other neutral oil
1 small onion, sliced
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
10 dried curry leaves
1 litre (about 2 pints) of stock/broth of choice (I used a vegan chicken broth)
350g (about 12oz) potatoes, cut into chunks
1 cup blanched greens such as dandelion leaves, nettles or spinach
0.75 cups blanched wild garlic leaves, ramps or wild leek leaves
1 teaspoon garam masala
A handful of coriander/cilantro, torn
Juice of 1 lime
Salt & pepper
Top with yogurt, crème fraiche or cream along with some chilli or fresh herbs
Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat.
Fry the onion, stirring occasionally, until very soft and starting to lightly brown - this should take about 20 minutes so be careful not to cook too high or you'll have onions that are raw on the inside and burned on the outside. If they start to stick, add a couple of tablespoons of water to deglaze the pan.
Add the cumin, fenugreek and curry leaves.
Fry for a further 1-2 minutes, being careful not to burn the spices.
Add the stock and potatoes, brining to the boil.
Simmer until the potatoes are cooked through.
Add the greens, garlic, garam masala and herbs and let cook for a further minute.
Let the soup cool for as long as your blender recommends, then blend until smooth.
Taste, season, and bring back to the boil.
Serve topped with yogurt and a pinch of chilli flake.