Hogweed and Wild Garlic Soup
A springtime favourite, one to make when the first shoots of hogweed and leaves of wild garlic start appearing. Like most soups and stews, this is always better for being left to stand overnight so the flavours can really develop.
Serves : 4
Prep : 15 minutes
Cook : 30 minutes
- A good double handful of wild garlic (approx 200g)
- A good double handful of hogweed (approx 200g)
- ½ tablespoon olive oil
- 25g butter
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 large carrot, chopped
- 1 stick of celery, chopped
- 500ml well-flavoured vegetable stock
- 2 tablespoons double or soured cream
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Wash and drain the wild garlic. Rinse the hogweed and chop it roughly.
- Set a medium-sized pan over low heat and add the olive and butter. When the butter has melted, add the onion, carrot and celery with a pinch of salt. Let the vegetables sweat gently with the lid on for about 10 minutes, stirring every now and then.
- When the vegetables are softened, add the hogweed. Stir to coat with the butter and cook for a minute or so, then add the stock and bring to a boil. Simmer gently for about 30 minutes until the hogweed is tender (this will depend on how chunky the hogweed’s stems are).
- When the hogweed is cooked, add the wild garlic and simmer for a further two minutes. Blitz the soup with a hand-held blender (or transfer to a regular blender or processor). Taste for seasoning and serve, topping each bowlful with a swirl of cream.
Recipe by Wild Food UK; development and photos by Otherwise
Can older (or slightly older) leaves be used in this recipe, or still only unopened leaves/young shoots?
Yes the leaves can still be used to full maturity, but the shoots are best 😉
Tasty Fantastic soup
Wild garlic i have in abundance though a tad elderly by Now..
Hogweed i am not confident of and don’t have… what would you suggest instead? I have lovage, brocolli, kale, spinach… (listed really as they are green!) …….
Any of your listed alternative ingredients sound like they will work well.
Is this plant called Heracleum sphondylium, common hogweed, native to Europe and Asia?
Wikipedia says…Most species of the genus Heracleum are known to cause phytophotodermatitis. In particular, the public health risks of giant hogweed (H. mantegazzianum) are well known. At least 36 species of the genus Heracleum have been reported to contain furanocoumarin, a chemical compound that sensitizes human skin to sunlight. Of those, at least 25 species contained a psoralen derivative, either bergapten (5-methoxypsoralen) or methoxsalen (8-methoxypsoralen). Three of those species (H. mantegazzianum, H. sosnowskyi, and H. sphondylium) were found to contain both psoralen derivatives.
Do the benefits in spring, of eating young shoots outweigh the risk? Does the amount of psoralen increase as the plant ages?
Common Hogweed is one of my favourite Spring vegetables even though I react to touching it. It is a mild reaction causing contact dermatitis so I wear gloves when collecting and preparing it. It does not cause any reaction by eating it. Out of many hundreds of people I have asked, less than a handful have this reaction. Giant Hogweed however has a much stronger reaction that affects most people.