Ramps, or Wild Leeks

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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 onions. 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
  • pepper

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.

Here’s the range map so you can check to see if ramps grow in your area: Map

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  1. rosalynclaire says

    They look beautiful. I don’t know if we have them around here or not, I’ve never really heard of anyone harvesting them but I am only just starting to learn about wild foods in our area. I love how they look in that colander!

  2. says

    This is so funny that you posted this today. A friend came up for a visit and asked if I had ever had ramps. I said I didn’t know what they are and had never hear of them. Then you posted this LOL. Well, now I know. Thanks for the info. I don’t think they grow around here (north Alabama). But I’ll be on the lookout!

  3. kitsapfg says

    I have never seen these in our area, but honestly I have not been really “looking” for them either. They look delicious.

  4. maryhysong says

    wow those are great looking and the soup sounds delish. Of course nothing awesome like that grows wild around here 😉

  5. Jeanette says

    Does anyone know if you can find seeds for these. I know I was in a shop once in West Virginia and they sold them. I bought some for a friend but I never did find out if they grew or not.

  6. Shawna says

    I live in PA and I know they grow around here, but is there a specific enviroment that they like to grow in? Example: partial sun, next to water, etc. We have plenty of forest/wooded areas to look, but I need help narrowing it down please… don’t want to be looking in all the wrong spots! LOL! Thanks.

    • susanv says

      Ramps generally grow under the shade of hardwood trees and often grow near streams. They like areas with a lot of organic matter. They seem to also like north facing hillsides. Good hunting!


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