Ramping It Up

Please excuse the pun … couldn’t help myself …

What’s the hot ticket in food this Spring? Ramps. You have to get to the market early to get them and you had better savor them because they make but a brief appearance and then their time is gone.

Ramps are wild leeks with a garlic and onion flavor. And for such small things, they pack a hearty flavor punch. A neat Wikipedia factoid: Folks in Appalachia have long celebrated the arrival of ramps, believing they have power as a tonic to ward off many ailments of winter. In fact, the selenium and sulfur-rich ramp is the subject of many current studies in cancer prevention and treatment.
But enough of the fact stuff, let’s get down to the recipe, which is perfect for a rainy day.
White bean and ramp soup

White Bean & Ramp Soup
Makes 4 servings
  • 2 slices bacon, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 bunches of ramps
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 1/2 cups cannellini beans, cooked
  • 1/4 cup grated Paremsan cheese
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • Salt, to taste
  1. Wash the ramps and chop the white bulbs and pink stems from the green leaves.
  2. Chop the ramp bulbs and stems. Place them in pile.
  3. Chop the ramp leaves. Place then in a separate pile.
  4. Heat the olive oil in a sauce pan over medium heat. Add the bacon pieces.
  5. Cook the bacon until crispy. Then scoop out the pieces onto a paper towel lined plate.
  6. Add the chopped ramp bulbs and stems to the olive oil and bacon fat.
  7. Saute until tender and translucent.
  8. Pour in the white wine and reduce down until it’s nearly gone.
  9. Pour in the chicken stock.
  10. Stir in the ramp leaves and black pepper.
  11. Cover and cook until the ramp leaves are completely tender and wilted.
  12. Stir in the cooked cannellini beans and let things cook for about 5 minutes more.
  13. Remove the pan from the heat.
  14. Using an immersion blender or a regular blender, puree the soup to desired consistency. Be careful when blending!
  15. Place the blended soup back into the sauce pan. Return the pan to the stove over medium heat.
  16. Let it come to a simmer.
  17. Stir in the grated cheese. Add salt to your taste.
  18. Pour into individual bowls and top each serving with the crispy bacon pieces.
On a related note: I saw a delightful recipe I really want to try: Fresh Goat Cheese Tarts with Ramps & Lemon Zest
Do you use ramps? What are some your favorite things to do with them?

Join the Conversation

  1. That sounds wonderful. I made ramp crepes last year — sort of like a scallion pancake — so good. And I just use them in stir fry in place of garlic. Yum!

  2. Ramp crepes – what a cool idea! I'll have to try it.

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