Walking along a bubbling brook yesterday, I stumbled upon a lovely patch of ramps. Also known as wild leeks, ramps are native to the Appalachian mountain region in North America. The perennial is found in deciduous forests in the spring. The bulb has a lovely onion-garlic taste and is delicious raw, or lightly sauteed. It can also be used in recipes which call for leeks, or as a substitute for onion.
Last night, I sauteed some with salmon, and this evening, I made Ramp-Potato Soup:
- 1 c. thinly sliced ramps, including bulb, stem, and leaves
- 3 stalks thinly sliced celery
- 3 T. butter
- 4 c. chicken broth
- 3 – 4 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
- 1 c. half and half
- sea salt
Saute the leeks and celery in the melted butter for about 10 minutes. Add 1 cup of chicken broth, cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the potatoes and the remaining broth, cover, and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 15 – 20 minutes. Puree. Add the half and half, and salt and pepper to taste. Serve garnished with parsley.
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Here’s the range map so you can check to see if ramps grow in your area: Map