Often mistaken as wild garlic (which has wider leaves), wild leeks are everywhere at the moment. Also known as "ramps", they grow in shady damp areas and they have a distinct onion aroma which means you normally smell them before you spot them! Treat them in a similar way to spring onions and always give them a good wash.
You can pick the flowers as they make a pretty garnish to salads but the whole plant is edible and they make a fantastic accompaniment to risottos, fish dishes or roast lamb.
One of the best ways of using wild leeks is in this beautiful soup:
Wild leek and Potato Soup
3 large potatoes
a bunch of wild leeks approximately 300g
1litre chicken stock, vegetable stock or water
rape seed oil
Pick the flowers from the wild leeks to use as a garnish. Slice the onions then dice potatoes and the bottom third of the wild leeks into 1cm chunks. Do not be too precise with this as we are going to blend the soup before serving.
Place a large saucepan over a medium heat a heat 1tblsp of oil until hot. Add the potatoes, onions and the bottom of the leeks. Sweat this mixture over a medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Then add the water or stock and bring to a boil. Simmer the soup until the potatoes are tender. About 10 minutes.
Once the potatoes are tender chop the rest of the leeks in to 1cm pieces and throw into the pan. Boil the soup for 2 more minutes to cook the leeks. Take the soup off the heat and blend the soup with a hand blender until smooth and keep warm.
Meanwhile poach the eggs:
Serve the soup warm or cold and garnish with the poached eggs and wild leek flowers.