One of the first greens in springtime in the Northeast. Wild leek or ramps. It was once little known but now quickly becoming popular. You may even be able to find ‘wild’ leeks at your local grocer as I was able to do recently which include the roots. In the wild it could be confused for grass but a tell tale identification is the pungently distinct smell of onion or garlic. In the wild, when foraging you never want to remove the roots or bulb as that will end it’s life right there and you’ll be hard pressed to find them in the wild in that spot again. This is a very unsustainable practice so unless you are planting and seeding for future growth and if you’d like to enjoy them year after year then it’s best to cut the tops and leave the roots only taking 5% from that patch.
After harvesting it’s best to be used with a day or two before they lose their aroma and get too wilted. If you’re unsure then it’s best to purchase from a reputable sustainable source like Forbes Wild Foods. You could also substitute leeks for the wild leeks in this recipe.
Spinach is a lovely pairing with onion and garlic and so I added a whole bunch of fresh chopped spinach to this soup! Mushrooms are also a nice flavour and texture addition. I made them like crispy bacon bits that you could sprinkle on top or mix in to the soup. I actually found that this soup was best on day 3 after being made. The flavours had more time to mingle and the soup to thicken. That being said, I think it would be an ideal meal prep suggestion to make on Sunday and have throughout the week with the flavour improving as the time goes on.
Spinach and Wild Leek Soup with Crispy Cremini Mushroom Bits
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion
- 1 shallot
- 3-4 garlic cloves
- 2 cups chopped ramps/leeks
- 1 bunch fresh spinach
- 4 cups water
- 1 tsp soup base
- 2 cups milk
- salt & pepper to taste
- 1 224 g package cremini mushrooms
- Heat the oil in a large stock pot on medium heat. Rough chop the onions and shallot and add to the pot. saute for about 3 minutes or until translucent then fine chop the garlic and add to the pot. Cook for 1 minute.
- Clean the leeks of dirt under cool water. Chop roughly (if additional dirt is found rinse again) and add to the pot, cook until wilted (about 5 minutes). Add the chopped spinach and cook until wilted adding water to prevent sticking to pot.
- Add water and soup base, stir and cover. Cook until heated and just starting to boil. Cook for 5 minutes.
- Add milk, salt and pepper, stir and turn off the heat. Cover and let sit while you prepare the mushrooms:
- Clean the mushrooms by rinsing them under cool water. Chop into small bits about 0.5 cm in size. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan then add the mushrooms. Cook and stir until most of the moisture is released then sprinkle with salt. This will allow more moisture to release from the mushrooms and they will start to crisp up. Watch them at this point so as not to burn them. Turn them with a spatula frequently and remove from heat when desired crispness is achieved. After blending: Sprinkle on top of soup when ready to serve or stir into pot incorporating into the whole soup.
- Blend the soup using an immersion blender until desired consistency is achieved.
- Enjoy life in the pink!