I remember being a child and sitting on a low wall on the road I grew up on in Bantry. There was a sea of green and white behind me. I was always fascinated by the smell. I can remember cracking off the leaves and flowers and rubbing them between my fingers and thinking could anything smell worse than these? I wasn’t aware that this little plant with its delicate flower would many years later herald the first sign of spring for me or that I would gather my boys, dogs and a wicker basket to spend time gathering these leaves with their delicate flowers to turn into the most beautiful of soups… Wild Leek Soup. Wild Leek is growing in abundance in West Cork and South Kerry, you will know it by its narrow green grass like leaves and it’s bell shaped white flower (not to be mistaken with snowdrops) but most of all by its strong onion smell. It is very similar to Wild Garlic which has a much broader leaf and different shaped white flower. I find Wild Garlic to be slightly more peppery than Wild Leek but it also works very well in this soup. I love to make Wild Garlic Pesto and store it in the fridge to make a handy supper stirred through Pasta which my kids love. Whenever I make this soup I use white pepper, it works much better with the potato, as a rule of thumb I use white pepper for anything potato based.
- 200g of Wild Leek or Wild Garlic, chopped4 medium sized Potatoes, chopped
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 litre of good quality Chicken Stock
- Salt and White Pepper
- Sunflower Oil
- Heat a saucepan on a medium to hot heat. When warm add in your potatoes and onion, turn the heat down, season with salt and pepper and cover with a lid to let them sweat for about 10mins.
- Add your Wild Leek or Garlic and give a stir to coat all over with the oil. Add your hot chicken stock and bring to the boil uncovered. Turn the heat down and simmer for a few minutes uncovered (keeping it uncovered will stop the leaves from darkening and keep them a bright green colour) until the potatoes are tender and the Wild Leek has wilted.