Wild Garlic

Its been the wild garlic season as you can’t have failed to notice if you’ve been walking through woods or near hedgerows. It’s distinctive garlic smell is one of the signs of spring, especially in wet woodland. Its a joy to pick as the days are getting brighter, longer and milder.

wild garlic in colander on white background
Fresh wild garlic leaves. Styling and photography by Tony May Copyright 2019

We are blessed with copious amounts of it in woods quite close to here so after gathering a small bagful on a delightful sunny spring day I’ve been trying and photographing a couple of new recipes.  Wild garlic soup was something I hadn’t eaten or cooked before but is surprisingly simple to make.

Bowl of wild garlic soup
Wild garlic. Perfect with a fresh cheese roll for lunch. Styling and photography by Tony May Copyright 2019

Finely chopped potato and a little onion are sautéed and softened before adding stock and simmering to make the soup base. The wild garlic leaves are added near the end of cooking as the flavour becomes milder the longer its cooked.  You can blitz the soup before adding the single cream and seasoning, to avoid the cream separating. You can add some milk with the stock and reduce the amount of cream for a lighter version.

Garlic mushrooms with wild garlic
Garlic mushrooms made with wild garlic. Styling and photography by Tony May Copyright 2019 

Whilst I’ve eaten creamy garlic mushrooms many time before, I’d never tried them made with wild garlic. The result was just as tasty – probably more subtle – and more colourful with the green of the leaves contrasting with the creamy sauce.

If you decide to pick your own wild garlic or other edible wild herbs and flowers remember only pick where there are large amounts of the plant. Only pick leaves and don’t dig up bulbs or roots – its illegal in the UK unless its on your own land – and pick a small amount (one or two leaves) from several plants to preserve the plants and leave them in good shape.