Friday, 24 May 2013

Wild Garlic Soup with Wild Garlic Dumplings

When I started this blog, its remit was simple - soup, soup and more soup.  Then it mutated to include cakes, random recipes and then wild food / foraging as I started to notice the wonderful treasure trove that was lurking on cycle paths and hillsides, by the canal and in the woods.  Most of that stuff was turned into jams or boozes of various kinds, but the one ingredient that I truly fell in love with was Wild Garlic.  The smell of it when it comes into season is the smell of my childhood - spent as it was skulking in woods and by streams, getting muddy and making dens (and I'm really not making this up - kids today etc etc...)

The humble Allium ursinum plant is prefect for soups as it has an amazing delicate flavour and a texture that is a little like spinach (It also works well in quiches, potato salad and as a pesto replacement for basil) and it's easy to find as it grows in the shadow of larger trees - of course every fan of wild garlic has their own secret location for their harvest.  I'd tell you mine but then I'd have to turn you into soup (Hint - it's by the canal path in Kirkstall)  It goes without saying as well, that always wash carefully anything you pick and make sure you know exactly what it is that you are picking...

And the great thing about this recipe is that it has dumplings in it... yay!  Oh, and one last thing before I leave you to go garlic hunting - 250g (the total amount you will need for this recipe) is about a carrier bag full...


For the soup
200g Wild Garlic
1 Large Onion
1 Large Potato
1.2l Vegetable Stock
100ml Single Cream

For the dumplings
100g Stale Bread
75g Wild Garlic
1 Clove Garlic
1 Small Onion
1 Egg
3 tbsp Plain Flour
75ml Milk

1.  Cut the stale bread into cubes and soak in milk for 10 minutes

2. Using a food processor, blitz 50g of wild garlic with some oil, salt and pepper to make a puree

3. Cut the onion and garlic clove into small pieces, then gently fry until golden.

4.  Finely chop the remaining 25g of wild garlic

5. Gently kneed the soaked bread and then add the garlic puree, onion, garlic and chopped wild garlic, beaten egg and milk, combining thoroughly, then add enough plain flour to make a dough, roll out the dumplings into small (2-3cm) balls and refrigerate for 30 minutes or so.  They are pretty sticky, so use lots of greaseproof paper to stop them gluing themselves to whatever you place them on

6. Wash and peel the potato, then cut into small cubes.  Peel and finely chop the onion.

7.  Heat some butter in your soup pan then add the potato and onion, cooking for 8 minutes over a gentle heat until they start to soften.

8.  Add the wild garlic and cook for another 5 minutes, until everything is cooked through.

9.  Add the stock and bring to the boil then simmer for 25 minutes

10.  Using a blender, whizz the soup until its smooth (Use a sieve to make it even smoother if you want)

11. While the soup is cooking, steam the dumplings for 10 minutes, hopefully timing it so that everything is ready at the same time...

12.  Reheat the soup after blending and season to taste.

13.  Serve with 3 dumplings per bowl, and a swirl of single cream.  Enjoy!

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