The sun shone upon us this Saltaire Heritage weekend and after vsiting the alpacas and watching (whilst keeping a safe distance from) the morris dancers in Robert’s Park we headed up to the Old Glen House pub for lunch via another local heritage staple, the Shipley Glen Tramway. As Emily watched the trams roll up and down the hill, my eyes were drawn in the other direction to a heady carpet of white and green, a pungent meadow of wild garlic.
Although greater awareness is now emerging around the darker side effects of the foodie foraging trends of late, I’m assured you’re on pretty safe ground harvesting quantities of wild garlic from your local wood or riverbank. As you’ll know if your garden or allotment has been infested, it spreads and replenishes itself with the tenacity of twitch grass. So, with dog in tow I set about harvesting a good few handfuls to use in an earthy, sweet and heady soup for that evening’s supper.
Ingredients (serves 4)
- 1 bag baby spinach/watercress
- 2 bags’ worth wild garlic (aim to pick the bushiest, thickest leaves)
- wild garlic flowers, to garnish
- 500ml good veg stock
- sea salt
- black pepper
- 1 large potato, finely diced
- 1 large banana shallot
- 2 tbsp creme fraiche
- rye toasts, for serving
- 1 generous knob of butter
SHIPLEY GLEN WILD GARLIC SOUP
- Add the diced potato to a heavy saucepan along with stock. Bring to the boil and simmer until the potato is thoroughly tender.
- In a larger pot melt the butter and add the shallots, cook over a low to medium heat until completely translucent. Take care not to brown them.
- Add your washed spinach and wild garlic, tossing to wilt completely. Add the potato using a slotted spoon and cook gently for 5 minutes.
- Transfer the leaves and spuds using a slotted spoon to a blender and pulse to blitz. Add more stock until you have your desired consistency before finishing with the creme fraiche.
- Pour back into the pan and heat through, seasoning to taste with salt and pepper. Divide between bowls and serve with the garlic flowers and rye toasts.