Wild garlic is an early spring plant that also seems to be hip nowadays. It looks as if everybody is talking about it and what is interesting is that it is not some strange exotic plat we in Easter Europe finally got our hands on. It grows everywhere. Here in Hungary we even have a Wild Garlic festival, which was held last weekend at Orfű for the 10th year in a row. They even erected a statue in honor of wild garlic in 2008. (photo)
In addition to being quite tasty and having this crazy green color that brings spring into your home instantly, it also has some very good effects on your health. Proven to reduce blood pressure and lower cholesterol levels more than any other type of garlic it is also packed with vitamin C and has antiseptic and antibacterial properties. It is also good for spring detox.
I will admit I did not go into the wood to pick myself some bear’s leek (this is how we call it), but I did pick it up at the farmers market and used it in several ways this weekend. We chopped it and added to salad, you can mix it into you cottage cheese for breakfast and it also tasted surprisingly good added to mashed potatoes. But my favorite is the vitamin bomb spring soup I made on Saturday.
Here is what I did:
3 tbsp olive oil
3-4 spring onions, diced
5 middle sized potatoes, diced
600 ml hot chicken stock (potatoes should be completely covered)
3-4 handfuls wild garlic, chopped
marjoram according to your taste
salt according to your taste
– Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes, until soft but not browned. Stir in the potatoes, salt them and sweat for a while. Stir occasionally, because potatoes catch easily.
– Add the chicken stock to the potatoes and simmer until the potatoes are cooked.
– At this point you can add marjoram check the seasoning of the soup and turn of the heat. Wild garlic does not not need to be cooked, so you only add it at the end to wilt a bit. If you like textured soups you can serve it at this point, I took it a step further and processed the soup with my hand mixer because my kids wouldn’t touch it if they saw the leaves floating in the soup. Potatoes give it perfect thickness (thin with more stock if needed) and wild garlic aroma is subtle enough for the kids to eat it too without complaints.
This kind of soup is even perfect to take with in a thermos to the park or a picnic. What I love about soups of this kind is that my children find it extremely amusing when I hand them soup in a cup to drink with a straw. They think it is really funny.
Do you use wild garlic in your kitchen?