And eating hot soup!
This soup was inspired by one that my mother-in-law made the other night while we were visiting her home deep in the wilds of West Virginia. It was approaching dark, we’d all been out all day, Tate and I had just walked out of the woods with a big bag of ramps, and it was time to eat. She made this soup with what she had on hand, kept it simple, and we all devoured it.
I arrived home the next day, big bag o’ ramps and a handful of foraged morel mushrooms in tow, and attempted to recreate the soup. The special ingredient is the coconut milk, which brings out the natural sweetness of the potatoes and ramps (yes, potatoes, especially organic Yukon Golds, have a bit of sweetness to them).
If you don’t have access to ramps some nice fresh, local leeks will sub well, as will fresh shiitakes for the morels.
I’m calling it Sweet Spot Soup. Spring is the sweet spot in weather in Central Virginia. Under those Ash trees in the hills of West Virginia where we spotted morels popping up, despite being camouflaged with last years leaves, was the sweet spot. The combo of earthy mushrooms, sweet and pungent spring onions, hearty potatoes, and unexpected coconut milk definitely is a sweet spot.
|Sweet Spot Soup|
- 6-8 organic Yukon Gold potatoes cubed
- 2-4 tablespoons coconut oil or butter
- 2 small handfuls of ramps or 1-2 leeks cleaned and chopped, greens and all (if using leeks use as much of the greens as possible without getting into the tough part)
- ~cup mushrooms (I used foraged morels, I also recommend shiitakes but any mushroom could do)
- 1 can coconut milk
- 2 pinches crumbled rosemary
- salt and pepper to taste
- Place chopped potatoes and the rosemary in a large pot and fill with water until just covered, set on stove to boil.
- In a large saute pan melt coconut oil/butter over medium heat and add the white parts of the ramps/leeks. Gently saute but do not brown. After about 5 minutes add the greens and mushrooms to the pan and stir regularly to cook evenly. Once all the greens are wilted turn off the heat.
- Cook the potatoes until completely soft then stir vigorously with a wooden spoon to start to break them down a little. The desired end result is a medium-thick potatoy soup base with plenty of chunks of potatoes to bite into.
- Add the leeks/ramps, mushrooms, and the coconut milk to the potato pot and continue to cook over low-medium heat. Start adding salt and pepper and tasting to adjust. I used a lot of salt. It kept tasting bland until I got to that right salt level and then all the flavors popped. The sweet spot!
- Stir vigorously to breakdown the potatoes or grab a potato masher and give it a few go’s.
- When you have reached the desired taste and texture it’s done!
Disclaimer: I am pretty anti-recipe in general and especially for soups, which I think should as a rule never be exactly the same twice. This is a suggestion for a combination of ingredients, go forth and experiment! Let me know if you hit the sweet spot.