Nothing says Spring has sprung more clearly than the appearance of leafy crops of spring greens like watercress, sorrel, and of course wild garlic at local farm stalls.
Wild garlic is rampant right now in certain parts of Europe and that calls for an abundant use as it’s in season only for a short period of time each year. Depending on the location you live (if in Europe at all) you will find it starting from late March running into June.
This short-lived vegetable easily divides opinions as not everybody likes the strong, pungent smell of the leaves. What might surprise those not familiar with wild garlic, it actually has a delicate and sweet taste.
For fans of wild garlic or those that might get intrigued to have a go at it, the great news is, it can be used in a broad range. From pesto to soup, salads, risotto, pasta, pastries, breads, and curries, this delectable vegetable will add just that bit of flavour that will have you raving about.
Pairing wine with wild garlic can be slightly tricky and will largely depend how wild garlic is used – it’s more toned down when it is cooked rather than used pure like in a salad or pesto.
For the wild garlic soup, which also asks for spinach, celery and potatoes I’ve paired it with a Chardonnay-Pinot Blanc blend from renowned German winemaker Jochen Dreissigacker.
Dreissigacker winery located in Bechtheim in the Rheinhessen wine region just outside of Mainz is one of the purely biodynamically managed wineries across Germany. In recent years, it has not made headlines purely because of its award-winning wines. It also joint the ranks of other traditional family-run wineries giving focus to a new, state-of-the-art and architectonically striking wine cellar and tasting room.
The Chardonnay-Pinot Blanc Cuvée combines the power of Chardonnay with the fine elegance of the Pinot Blanc and displays a subtle hint of the wood barrels in which the wine has matured for a short period.
In the glass, it’s a light golden yellow with straw deges.
On the nose, aromas of stone fruits and melon.
On the palate, well-balanced, with notes of pear and honey and a long finish.
Wild Garlic Soup Recipe
2 small onions
100 g wild garlic
300 g potatoes
200 g spinach
100 g celery root
2 tablespoons olive oil
100 ml dry white wine
1 litre vegetable broth
1 tablespoon butter
salt, pepper, and nutmeg for seasoning
Peel and finely chop the onions. Peel, wash and dice potatoes and celery root.
Wash and dry wild garlic and spinach, then eliminate coarse stems and crossly chop.
In a saucepan, fry the onions until translucent and starting to brown slightly. Add potatoes and celery root and fry for about 5 minutes.
Add a pinch of salt and the white wine and bring to a short boil. Add vegetable broth and let simmer for 25 minutes over medium heat.
Roughly 5 minutes before taking from the heat, add wild garlic, spinach and butter.
Take from the heat and puree finely. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg.
Serve with hardboiled quails’ eggs or a tablespoon of wild garlic pesto on top if you like.
Let me know how you liked the soup.