A recipe for the foraging foodies: Wild garlic soup

Two things to remember: wash your foraged wild garlic and avoid overcooking to retain that glorious green colour  (Lizzie Mayson)
Two things to remember: wash your foraged wild garlic and avoid overcooking to retain that glorious green colour (Lizzie Mayson)

I’ve always been fascinated by the way that the wild harvest seems so in tune with my appetite. It’s as though nature is reminding me who’s in charge.

By the time the wild garlic starts peeking its head above ground in the very early spring, I am more than ready for it – my foodie self is crying out for the pungent goodness of its super-green chlorophyll-stuffed leaves, and I never hold back from them.

Wild garlic soup recipe

Serves: 4

Prep time: 10 mins | Cook time: 30 mins


1 onion, peeled and chopped

2 large potatoes, scrubbed and chopped

50ml rapeseed oil

500g wild garlic

4 medium eggs


1. This recipe is the very essence of simplicity. In a large pan, begin to sweat the onion and potato in the rapeseed oil. Season this well and let it cook until the potato is fairly tender, about 15 mins. Stir regularly and pay attention to how it’s getting on.

2. In the meantime, wash and re-wash your wild garlic leaves. Remember: dogs, foxes, badgers and drunken youths may well have passed by the garlic before it was picked for you. And on a less worrisome but no less important point, it loves sandy soil and you do not want crunchy soup.

3. Roughly chop the garlic leaves. Add water to the potatoes and onions until just covered. Bring to a simmer. When – and only when – the potato is tender, add the wild garlic leaves and cook for just 1 min. If the soup gets overcooked at this stage it will lose its vibrant green colour.

4. Remove the soup to a good jug blender and blend until smooth and green. Leave the mixer running for at least 1 min – it’s a long time with all that noise, but worth it for the texture and colour that result. Season the soup and either return it to the pan or into an oven-proof casserole dish.

5. Crack four eggs carefully into the still hot soup and place in a hot oven for 6 mins – you don’t want the soup to re-boil, you just want to partially set the eggs (runny yolks are a must).

6. While the soup is finishing in the oven, grill some very good bread until nicely crisp and charred, place this on the table along with the soup and some good butter, with salt and pepper to hand.

Alternatives: Use a chicken or light fish stock in place of water for a deeper flavour, maybe with some flakes of smoked fish or even torn up cold chicken in place of the eggs. Instead of wild garlic, make the same soup with nettles or parsley, or even watercress.

Recipe from Borough Market. Visit www.boroughmarket.org.uk for more