Spring Time is Ramp Soup Time

Spring Time is Ramp Soup Time

Every April, New Yorkers go absolutely bonkers for ramps! Never heard of them? Perhaps you live in California or elsewhere beyond their native range, or you may live in New York but miss the green market for a few weeks in the spring time. Ramps grow in bunches in cool forest areas solely in the North American east, and they are only in season from mid-April to early May. Their pungent flavor profile falls somewhere between onion and garlic with a hint of bitter chard or kale. Their exclusivity and distinctive taste appeals wildly to New York foodies. I love to make a humongous vat of soup with them and freeze half of it so that the magic of the ramp may live on throughout the year.

Spring Time Ramp Soup
Serves: 12
  • 4 bunches fresh ramps + 8 ramps divided, roughly chopped
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • ½ cup flour
  • 4 quarts vegetable stock
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • Pinches of salt + white pepper, to taste
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespon chopped parsley
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Remove the squiggly roots of the ramps and peel back the loose outer layer from the base of the leafy green part to the white bulb at the bottom. Give them a thorough rinse with water to make sure that they’re totally free of any dirt.
  3. In a large stock pot, combine the oil and flour together over medium heat. Cook, stirring consistently for 5 minutes, to make a golden roux. Slowly whisk in the vegetable stock and cream, set the heat to high and bring the pot up to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium low, add the ramps (except for the 8 on reserve), and let simmer for 45 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, in a small roasting pan covered with tin foil, coat the 8 reserved ramps in olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast the ramps in the oven for 20 minutes, giving them a toss at 10 minutes to cook evenly. Remove from oven and dice into a pulp (for best results, a mini-prep food processor comes in handy). Set aside.
  5. Back to the soup. After 45 minutes of simmering, off the heat and let cool for a few minutes, then with a hand-held immersion bender, puree the soup until green in color and smooth. Add the roasted ramps, stir-in thoroughly and season with salt and pepper to taste. Ladle the soup into bowls, garnish with parsley and a splash of freshly squeezed lemon juice. You can serve immediately, but in general soup is better the second day, and better still when defrosted after several months in the freezer.

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