When I wrote about wild garlic last year (or it may have been the year before!) it aroused a lot of interest. Well, it’s that time of year again and, depending where you are in the country wild garlic should already be out, or emerging any day…
It is such a pretty flower (a member of the allium family of course!) and gives off such a gentle garlicy scent – it’s quite magical. It seems to be a very good year for it and pathways through woodland here are lined thickly with it. I have lots of wild garlic growing on the banks of the stream in our garden too. It’s not as strong as cultivated garlic but it’s edible and free and adds a lovely soft ‘oniony’ tone to salads. Unlike common cultivated garlic, it’s the leaves that are eaten rather than the bulbs. The taste is more delicate too, similar to the flavour of chives.
My foraging pal Julia Horton-Powdrill, who really knows her onions (and garlic – ha ha ha!), has a lovely recipe for wild garlic soup that you might like to try.
- Knob of butter
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 large potato, peeled & chopped
- 750mls chicken stock
- 500g wild garlic leaves, washed
- 100ml double cream
- Salt & pepper
- Melt the butter and add the onion and cook until soft but not browned.
- Add potatoes and seasoning and stir, and then add the chicken stock.
- Simmer until potatoes are almost cooked.
- Add the wild garlic and continue to cook for a few minutes more.
- Blitz the soup to blend, add the cream and reheat gently
- Serve with warmed sourdough bread.
Serve with warmed sourdough bread, plus a little swirl of cream or creme fresh on the top as the finishing touch!
WILD GARLIC (Allium ursinum)
Leaves can be used in sauces and soups
Flowers and leaves can be used in salads
And never fear, my loyal readers… it is also supposed to ward off vampires!
And finally – I would advise caution in the garden. Wild garlic spreads by the production of underground bulbs and can become a problem. It will also carry on growing quite happily in your compost heap, so beware!
Find out about Julia’s foraging courses here.