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Ramp and Potato Chowder

Claire Stabbert - Columnist
Posted 5/7/20

Ramps are my new favorite thing. Rumor has it my grandpa would eat ramps with just a little salt, like he was popping candy. Must be where I get it from.

This past weekend I visited my Aunt …

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Ramp and Potato Chowder

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Ramps are my new favorite thing. Rumor has it my grandpa would eat ramps with just a little salt, like he was popping candy. Must be where I get it from.

This past weekend I visited my Aunt Laurie and Uncle Dick's house in Bloomville, NY to pick some ramps (wild leeks). If garlic and onions had a baby, it would be ramps. They grow in rocky soil, and once you know what they look like, they're easy to spot.

Make sure to harvest with a shovel, so you don't break the root. Break apart the soil with your hands, clean them off, cut the root off, and you're good to go. After picking about 5 bags of ramps, I pickled some, made some into a delicious pesto, and made a ramp and potato chowder that might be one of the best soups I have ever made.

I doubled this recipe, but if you'd like to make a normal serving, you will need 2 tablespoons of butter, 1 cup of ramps roughly chopped (bulbs and greens), 3 russet potatoes peeled and diced, 4 cups chicken broth, salt and pepper, 2 cups milk, and optional toppings of bacon, shredded cheese, and chopped ramp greens.

In a dutch oven or heavy pot, saute your ramps in butter until soft (5-10 minutes). Add potatoes and chicken broth and simmer covered for about 20 minutes until your potatoes are cooked through (taste your broth and season with salt! You want your broth to be well salted, maybe a little over salted… your potatoes are going to absorb this water.) Reduce your heat to low and add in the milk and stir to combine. Cook over low and allow the flavor to deepen.

If you would like this to be a creamier soup, substitute the milk for heavy cream and add in 2 cups of sharp cheddar cheese. Want this chowder dairy free? Substitute milk for coconut milk and add in 1/4 cup nutritional yeast.

I hope you all get a chance to get outside and see what nature has to offer. Happy harvesting!

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