WILD GARLIC SOUP

 

Wild garlic as the name suggests grows in the wild and is plentiful in local woodland at this time of year.  What better excuse do you need to get out in our beautiful Berkshire countryside and find some for yourself?  This recipe uses the stalks and leaves and 300g is roughly equivalent of a shoe box full.

 

Serves: 6

 

Ingredients

 

100g butter

1 large onion peeled – sliced

1 large potato peeled – sliced

750ml water

100ml cream

300g wild garlic – stalks and leaves.  Garlic flowers to serve

200g spinach

Salt and pepper

Crème fraiche to serve

Balsamic vinegar syrup to serve

 

Method

 

Sweat the onion gently in the butter on a low heat, ensuring no colour, when softened add the potato and cook for 10 minutes.

 

When the potato is soft and cooked add the water and cream and bring to the boil for 5 minutes. Add the wild garlic and boil for a further 3 minutes.

 

Place into a blender, and add the spinach, this is best done in two batches.  Blend for 5 minutes until smooth. Lightly season with salt and pepper to taste.

 

If serving immediately reheat gently on the hob, pour into serving bowls and drizzle some crème fraiche and balsamic vinegar syrup over, finish with 2 or 3 garlic flowers if using.

 

Chef’s tip:

 

If preparing in advance, add some ice cubes when seasoning to chill quickly to keep the freshness and colour and place in the fridge.  Can be stored for up to 3 days in the fridge.

 

 

SODA BREAD

 

Ingredients

250g bread flour

5g salt

7g bicarbonate of soda

50g sunflower seeds

55g feta cheese – cut into cubes

250ml buttermilk

5g fresh mint – chopped

 

Method

 

Before you start, place a small mound of flour on the work surface, approx. 15cm in diameter and you have a long knife to hand and the oven is on and ready at 220c, a baking sheet is already placed in the oven; this recipe is all about the speed from the making and to the oven.

 

Place the flour, salt and bicarbonate of soda into the bowl and rub together well as this will ensure all the soda is activated and giving you an even lift.  Add the seeds and cheese and stir in, then add the buttermilk and mint and fold together gently but quickly (under 3 minutes to ensure not much gluten is activated) until all the dry flour is incorporated.

 

Once it is all together, take out of the bowl and roll it around in the flour on the work surface to make it easier to handle, then cut through forming a cross cut, form back together if the cutting opens up the loaf a little and then place on to the baking sheet in the oven and bake for 30 minutes until golden brown, remove and allow to cool before eating.

 

Chef’s tip:

 

Soda bread is better eaten on the day it is made