Today, I would like to introduce you to a vegetable you’ve likely never heard of before: the rare but wonderful ramp. You wouldn’t believe how much trouble I had tracking down some of these beauties this past week. I kept calling produce department after produce department, and, bless their hearts, hardly anyone I spoke with could even make out what I was asking for! Talk about rare.
Ramps are essentially like a cross between an onion and a leek–their bite and sting lends a unique flavor matched only by their scarcity. Many describe them as a combination of the sweetness of leeks with the spice of garlic, and I’d have to agree. Part of what makes them so special is that they're the quintessential spring vegetable—first to arrive and first to go. And in looking for a meal in which to use these, I decided to make a special version of a classic pea soup.
For this pea soup, I brought together the pungent, surprising flavor of the ramps with peas and fresh herbs to complement the soup’s mild creamy sweetness. I have to thank Laura Wright for her simple asparagus soup for being the inspiration on how to prepare these ramps in my recipe.
Le Creuset was kind enough to send me one of their most beautiful pieces for this recipe–their fleur cocotte. This beautifully-cast, elegant vessel features delicate features and lovely embossed flowers. John and I have been enjoying an unexpected spotty streak of sun in Seattle for the past few weeks of which we can’t get enough, so using this floral-designed, clean, matte-white cocotte seemed so appropriate! Le Creuset is also giving me another one of these cocottes to give away to you. Head over to my Instagram to enter for a chance to win!
Thank you for supporting the brands the support The Broken Bread. This is a sponsored post and all opinions are my own.
Spring Pea and Ramp Soup
Yields 5 cups
1 ½ tablespoons unsalted butter
8 oz ramps cleaned, and white bulbs + greens divided
1 lb 3 ½ cups peas
3 cups stock, plus a little extra if needed
¼ cup loosely packed parsley
1/3 loosely packed mint
2 tsp Lemon juice, or more to taste
salt and pepper to taste
Garnish with a drizzle of olive oil, fresh cracked pepper, and wild onion blooms, if available. Fresh ricotta cheese, or creme fraciche are other garnishes that work well with this soup.
Begin by preparing the ramps. Gather all of the bulbs, roughly chop, and set aside. Roughly chop the green tops and set aside as well.
In a large pot melt 1 ½ tbs of unsalted butter over medium heat. Once hot, add the chopped ramp bulbs and cook until tender and lightly browned—about five minutes or so. Add the chopped greens to the pot, and season everything with a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook the the greens until wilted, about a minute or so.
Add the chicken stock to the pot and bring everything up to a boil. Once boiling, add the peas and fresh herbs and adjust the heat so that everything comes to a simmer. If using fresh peas, allow them to simmer for about 6 minutes, and only simmer for 2 minutes if using frozen peas.
Depending on the size of your blender, carefully blend the soup all at once, or in batches until smooth. Return the soup back to the pot and mix in the lemon juice. If a thinner soup is preferred add a little extra chicken stock. Taste the soup and add any additional salt, pepper, and lemon juice as needed. Serve the soup hot with a drizzle of oil and with a garnish or fresh onion blossoms, ricotta cheese, or creme fraiche and enjoy!