The return of foods so brightly colored just lifts my spirit, a departure from all the things roasted that we embrace during winter. Laura combines two perennial favorites in this creamy soup, seemingly perfect for a rainy day and the smell of spring hitting the ground.
• 2 tsp grapeseed oil
• 12 ramps/wild leeks, cleaned + chopped, white bulbs + greens divided
• 1 medium waxy potato, peeled + 1/2 inch dice
• 1 bunch of asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-2 inch lengths
• 1/2 tsp ground cayenne pepper
• heavy splash of dry white wine
• salt + pepper
• 4-5 cups vegetable stock/asparagus stock
• juice of 1 lime
• Kale chips (kale tossed in oil, salt + pepper and baked in a single layer at 400 degrees F for about 10 minutes or until crisp)
• cooked quinoa
• Diced avocado
• Extra virgin olive oil
• Fresh pepper
• Chopped chives/chive blossoms
• Edible flowers (very optional)
1. Heat the grapeseed oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the chopped white ramp bulbs to the pot. Stir them around and cook them until slightly softened.
2. Add the diced potato, asparagus and cayenne. Saute the vegetables for a minute or so.
3. Add the white wine, let the alcohol burn off a bit and stir the vegetables some more. Season everything with salt and pepper. Keep cooking the vegetables until the asparagus is bright, bright green.
4. Add the vegetable stock to the pot (enough to cover by an inch or so) and bring to a boil.
5. Add the chopped ramp greens and stir. Simmer the soup until the potatoes are just tender, about 10 minutes or so. Remove from the heat.
6. Carefully blend the soup in batches in your blender to puree.
7. Add the lime juice to the pureed soup and stir to combine. Taste the soup for seasoning and adjust if necessary. To serve, bring the pureed soup to a boil and serve with any garnishes you like and slices of the hearty bread.
Note: Simmer your vegetable stock with a few chopped up pieces of asparagus to really amp up the sweet asparagus flavour. Inevitably a few spears go off/wilt-y in a bunch, just chop those up and toss them in with the stock until they’ve gone a little past the bright green stage.
Credit: Laura Wright, The First Mess.