The comfort in garlic soup… with ramps

Garlic soup with eggs | Cannelle et VanilleRamps | Cannelle et Vanille

One of the most vivid memories of my childhood is that of my grandmother, Miren, making berakatz zopa (garlic soup) for my grandfather, Angel. He had an exquisite palate – fowl, baby eels, barnacles, lobster… A true pastry chef who had been cooking since the age of 14. He was also a man who appreciated simplicity and the art of doing things orderly and well. There was such discipline to his work yet he appreciated certain chaos outside of it, which I find very inspiring in my life right now.

But I digress.

My grandfather also had a very sensitive digestive system and suffered from ulcers on and off all his adult life. I remember him bent over and looking frail with obvious pain on his face. All he ever asked for during those episodes was garlic soup. It must have some miracle properties because he always seemed to feel better after ingesting it. My grandmother’s recipe was as simple as can be. Olive oil, garlic, pimiento choricero, bread, salt and water. As simple as it gets. Eggs were seldom added. I think of her soup’s healing properties often because that is such a reminder of how food is comfort, but also health and vitality.

So if you ever need a little soup that takes less than 30 minutes to make, give this one a try. You might be surprised.

Eggs | Cannelle et VanilleGarlic soup with eggs | Cannelle et Vanille

And then came the ramps, also known as wild garlic or wild leek. I got them at the farmer’s market from Foraged and Found. If you have never tried them, they grow wild as their name indicates and have a strong garlic-onion flavor. They don’t seem to be as abundant on the West coast as in the East but they have been more available as of late.

I have been adding them to so many things.

A tart similar to this,

Tortilla with lots of ramps,

Roasted with sea salt,

Scrambled into eggs,

In this soup in lieu of peas.

Now it would be even more amazing if I had foraged them myself. And I circle back to my grandfather as the master forager that he was. Ramps in soup. He would have loved.

Garlic soup with eggs | Cannelle et Vanille

Ramp soup with poached eggs

Ramps can be very dirty so make sure you wash them well. They have a very slimy film around them. Pull out that film, cut off the root tops and wash well under cold water.

This is a very simple soup and a lot of the flavor is in the stock you use, so make sure it’s really good whether homemade or store-bought.

serves 4

1 quart (1 liter) chicken or vegetable stock
1/4 cup olive oil
6 ounces (185 g) ramps, washed and thinly sliced (separate the white stems from the green leaves)
1 tablespoon Spanish pimentón (paprika)
1 slice of stale gluten-free bread, crumbled (you could always toast it slightly to make it drier)
4 eggs

Heat the stock in a saucepan over medium heat. Hold it at low temperature so it’s warm when you are ready to add it to the soup.

Heat a cast-iton pan over medium high heat. Add the olive oil and the ramp stems. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes until translucent but do not brown. Add the pimentón and the bread and stir until all flavors are incorporated. Add the stock and bring liquid to a simmer. Cover the pot and cook for 15 to 20 minutes. Add the ramp greens, stir and cook for another 3 minutes. Taste the broth and adjust seasoning if needed (depends on how salty your stock is).

To cook the eggs, you can cook them all at once in the pot or you can cook them in a smaller pan one portion at a time (which I prefer to do so it looks nicer). Ladle a serving of soup into a small saucepan. Heat over medium heat so the soup is simmering. Crack one egg into the soup and let it slowly cook in the broth for 2 to 3 minutes until the white is set but yolk is still runny. Add a pinch of salt on top of the egg and serve immediately.

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29 Responses to “The comfort in garlic soup… with ramps”

  1. molly yeh says:

    ohmylanta this is so pretty. if only i could find some darn ramps!!!!!

  2. I love soup AND garlic, so this sounds like a great little recipe to try out. Unfortunately, it’s getting pretty hot out my way, so I’ve bookmarked this to revisit when the weather cools back down.

    I tend to get some degree of heartburn from garlic, but that doesn’t stop me from enjoying it in moderation — I know this sounds like one of those silly old wive’s cures that never work, but a tiny cap full of apple cider vinegar completely removes any acid reflux for me.

    I feel like a tasty addition to this might be green onion (perhaps in lieu of the leeks). Then again, I have sort of weird tastes. Have you ever tried something like that?

    Thanks for sharing!

  3. Lecia says:

    I didn’t know you had a grandmother Miren! xx

  4. Maggie says:

    Dear Aran,

    What a lovely story and photos! I would like to add that I hope you will reconsider (or at least educate your supplier about) purchasing whole ramps. Foraging just the green tops allows the plant to regenerate for future ramp-lovers…though forgive me if your supplier is well aware of this issue already, and has taken steps to ensure that the ramps are not over-harvested.

  5. Thank you for this lovely soup, and the beautiful memories of your grandparents. They sound like amazing people.

  6. Tieghan says:

    This soup is gorgeous. I love the flavors and that egg is perfection!

  7. Rosa says:

    Very comforting indeed! This soup looks marvelous.



  8. Valeria says:

    There is no trace of ramps in England sadly, but we have a lot of wild garlic leaves (and flowers!) growing just in the park down the road, which I think could work well with this soup. Thank you so much for sharing the lovely story behind it, too. x

  9. I’ve only tasted garlic soup once– in one of Jose Andres’ Washington D.C. restaurants– and it was amazing. Wild garlic is peaking in Ireland at the moment and I really must find some this weekend to make garlic soup. Beautiful!

  10. I love the story and sentiment behind this, and the soup looks stunning yet is so simple. Just 5 minutes drive from my house there is so much wild garlic growing that you can smell it as you drive by, and you’ve inspired me to pick some!

  11. Bob M. says:

    Is iot just me that finds it odd that this articles title is about comfort of garlic soup, with ramps’ and yet the only formal recipe you give doesn;t have garlic listed as a ingrediant, or used? yes, food art is nice, you are surely a good photographer.

  12. Such a fun recipe! Love the egg in there!

  13. Delish! A friend makes flavored oils – garlic etc – and I made eggs this week in oil as you do with handfuls of chives and sage from the garden -as much greens as eggs!

  14. Adana says:

    Ramp is very popular in my home country, I’ve been using it in soups all throughout March. Foragers should beware though, since there are some similar and poisonous plants that sometimes grow together with ramp.

  15. Ahh.. we found fresh ramps at the farmers market today and now I get to find this magical soup. What a subtle idea, especially with the addition of the golden egg!

  16. Marieken says:

    I love soups, and I’ve never had something like this before. It looks very tasty!

  17. Hello Aran,

    Beautiful post!

    I was wondering if you could share where you found those GORGEOUS eggs here in Seattle. I would love to know !!

  18. I can’t believe I didn’t see this last week! This dish looks lovely, simple and delicious!

  19. Gosh, I want to meet your grandfather. Garlic is my power house ingredient while I am traveling. I have found myself carrying around local bottles of olive oil that I have infused with garlic to make any cheap travel meal tasty.

  20. Madhavi says:

    Hello Aran,
    This soup looks really tasty and simple. Where I live, there are no ramps. Can I substitute with just garlic? Any suggestions on how please?
    Thank you.

  21. Eliza says:

    This sounds wonderful! Do you have a brand of gluten free bread you like? Or do you make it yourself?

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