Potato Soup With Wild Garlic:
SIMPLICITY itself and bursting with fresh zingy spring-y flavour.
Use Maris Piper or King Edward potatoes for this dish and be careful not to over-process the finished soup as it can turn gluey.
A coarse soup is lovely with these ingredients.
Two tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, 1 large knob fresh butter, 2 large finely chopped onions, one stick of celery very finely chopped, 3 large floury potatoes with skins left on and roughly diced, 500ml vegetable stock (made ideally with Marigold Bouillon), a large bunch of wild garlic leaves washed well, Maldon salt and black pepper.
Heat the oil and butter in a heavy-based saucepan and add the onion, celery and a pinch of salt. Turn the heat down very low and cover the pan with a lid or a disc of greaseproof paper.
Cook for about 30 minutes until very soft, being careful not to let the onions catch.
Add the potatoes to the pan, pour in the stock and simmer for another 20 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked all the way through. When the potatoes are tender to the point of falling apart, add the wild garlic and quickly whizz the soup in a liquidiser or food processor.
Season to taste and serve.
This soup requires nothing more than a good loaf of bread and some quality butter to enjoy.
Crab Linguine With Wild Garlic
PASTA with crab-meat is always popular and this recipe is given a lift by the addition of some wild garlic and a swirl of cream adds richness. Crème fraîche gives a sharper finish, so it’s up to you.
100ml extra-virgin olive oil, 1 small finely chopped onion,1 clove garlic, minced 200g white crab meat, 100g brown crab meat, juice and zest of 1 lemon, 2 large ripe tomatoes, 500g dried linguine pasta (I prefer DiCecco or Martelli – spaghetti would also be fine), a small splash vermouth (Noilly Prat is excellent) or dry white wine, a splash of double cream or crème fraîche, a handful of fresh flatleaf parsley, finely chopped, a large handful of wild garlic leaves, salt and pepper.
Let’s get the tomatoes out of the way. Boil a pan of water and make a cross in the base of each tomato with a sharp knife. Plunge into the boiling water for 30 to 45 seconds, then drop into a bowl of very cold water. Leave for a minute or so then peel the skin from the tomatoes, quarter them, remove the seeds and dice the flesh. Heat a large pan of water for the pasta, adding a splash of olive oil and a good dose of salt.
In a large frying pan, heat the olive oil and gently cook the onion and garlic for a few minutes until softened, then tip in the crab meat, the tomatoes, and the lemon. Add a splash of vermouth and allow to reduce. Add a splash of cream or crème fraîche and add the parsley.
Pop the pasta in the water and cook until just al dente. Just before serving, check the crab for seasoning, finely chop the wild garlic and chuck it in the pan. Drain the pasta, toss with the crab mixture and serve immediately in warmed bowls.