Posted by: winteridge | May 21, 2010

Take a Leek…


Yes, it is getting to be the season for the wild leek on the Tug Hill.  Call ’em leek, wild leek, ramp, wild onion, wild scallion, or your favorite name, many folk look forward to them as one of the first real signs of Spring.  Old timers used to look for ramps as a Spring tonic after the long fresh-vegetable-less winter.  Puts iron in the blood, don’t you know?

For those who are not familiar, I won’t try to tell you all about leeks, but I did find a great website loaded with info, which I will attempt to link you to:


I also have a really great leek potato soup recipe I will pass on to you, taken from NewsChannel10:

Monday, December 22, 2008

Potato, Leek and Bacon Soup
12/18/2008 12:51 PM
By: Dan Eaton

INGREDIENTS:

* 8 slices raw bacon, diced

* 2-3 leeks (for a total of about 12-15 inches white part only)

* 1 Tbs fresh chopped thyme or 1 tsp dried thyme (optional)

* approx. 1 cup white wine (optional but important)

* 4 cups peeled and thinly sliced potatoes

* 4 cups chicken stock

* heavy cream or milk to taste (1-2 cups should be good)

* salt and pepper to taste

* grated cheddar cheese for garnish

PROCEDURE:

Use a large soup pot to saute 8 or 9 pieces of diced, raw bacon until they’re nice and crisp.

While the bacon is slowly crisping up, slice the white parts of the leeks in half lengthwise and then thinly slice those crosswise and give them a good rinse under cold running water, in a strainer or colander, to remove any sand or grit.  Once the bacon is out of the pan and draining on paper towels, add the chopped leeks right to the pot and add the thyme, if you’re using it, and cook that for a few minutes until the leeks start to soften up.

Potato, Leek and Bacon Soup
A nice twist on a classic potato-leek soup!

At some point, while all of this is going on, you should have time to peel and thinly slice 4 cups of potatoes.  Just before adding the potatoes, add a splash of white wine and let that cook down for a minute, and then add the potatoes and just enough chicken stock to cover, approximately 4 cups.  Bring that up to a boil and adjust the heat so that it is at a nice simmer and let it cook until the potatoes are nice and soft. The thinner you slice the potatoes, the faster they’re going to cook and, once you’re happy that they’re nice and soft, use a hand blender to puree everything.  Add a little heavy cream or milk as you go until you’re happy with the consistency.  Turn the heat off and season with salt and pepper to taste and it’s ready to serve.  Garnish with a sprinkling of cheddar cheese and some of the crispy bacon pieces.

HINTS:

Saute the bacon separately and use vegetable stock instead of chicken stock for individual vegetarian options at the dinner table.

NOTE: I tried this recently at our camp, using fresh wild leeks that I had just picked (about 25), and it was very well received.  You can chop in some of the leaves to add color.  Next time, I will remove about 1/4 of the potato slices after cooking (before blending), dice those, then add them back for some body.  Try it!

The Wily Wild Leek

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Responses

  1. It’s a wonderful recipe. Wild leeks are so fresh and healthy, I love working with them. Thanks for sharing.


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