Garlic and Potato Soup

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The Potato Year: 300 Classic Recipes

The Potato Year

By Lucy Madden

Published 2015

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Wild garlic, or ramsons (Allium ursinum), grows like a carpet through the woods around our house in Co. Monaghan, its heady scent perfuming the paths in May. The plant makes an excellent soup, and the leaves can be used as a vegetable, cooked with a little butter and stock. Here I have adapted a recipe devised by Colin Spencer in The New Vegetarian and used ramsons for decorative purposes. If you have no access to wild garlic, use chopped chives instead.


  • 1 lb (450 g) floury potatoes, peeled and thickly sliced
  • 2 heads of garlic, peeled
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon sunflower oil
  • Large pinch of saffron
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1½ pints (900 ml) water
  • 10 fl oz (275 ml) cream
  • A few leaves of ramsons
  • A few flower heads of ramsons


Melt the butter and oil and put the garlic on to cook very slowly. When it is soft, add the potato slices, the saffron and the seasoning. Cook for a few more minutes and then pour over the water. Leave to simmer for a half-hour and then put through a sieve or liquidiser.

Reheat in a clean pan with the cream. Serve with a few chopped leaves of ramsons and with a few white flower heads floating in the pale yellow soup.

The wild flower (or weed, whichever you prefer) commonly known as Spurge is called Potatoes-in-the-Dish in parts of the west country of England.

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