Thursday, 16 April 2015

Food Miles

The season for wild garlic is upon us.  Not only does this plant make a delicious (and fashionable) soup, but it is an indication of the antiquity of the woodland in which it grows.  Here on the farm I pick it in the dumble which, at this time of year, is carpeted in bluebells, celandines and wood anemones.  Now, if you don’t live in Nottinghamshire you may not know that a dumble is a strip of woodland with steep-sided banks and a stream running through the middle.  One of my favourite walks bounders the north of the 40-acre - whose correct name, by the way, is West Brockwood – but fields are often referred to by their acreage rather than by their historic names, as is the case here.  If I am lucky the wild cherry will also be in blossom; that is a sight I look forward to every year.

In Epperstone plans continue apace for the SummerFestival to be held on June 14th.  New this year will be an exhibition, Paintings at Pantiles, displaying the work of local and village resident artists.  In fact, the village is not short of artistic talent.  A tapestry depicting the parish hangs in the foyer of the village hall.  This was produced by a group of village ladies, masterminded by a talented and very competent resident, as yet another souvenir of the Millennium.  The detail is faultless, and provides an interesting historical record of the dwellings in place at the time.

How about this for food miles?  Another sunny day and I could no longer resist collecting a bagful of the above wild garlic, so here is the soup recipe.

Wild Garlic Soup   

50g butter, 1 onion thinly slice, 1 potato peeled and chopped into 1cm cubes, 250g wild garlic leaves, 1 litre chicken stock, 150ml double cream.


Melt the butter in a large pan.  Add the onion and fry till soft but not coloured.  Add the potato and chicken stock, cover pan and simmer till potatoes are cooked.  Add the garlic leaves and stir for 1 minute until wilted.  Use a stick blender to blend the soup until smooth then pass it through a fine sieve (that is the hardest bit).  Reheat, stir in the cream and enjoy.  I did.