Sunchoke Ramp and Nettle Soup

Sunchoke ramp and nettle soup with a dollop of creme fraiche

After gorging myself on various pork products for the past few weeks, I really felt like I needed a break from all the meat. To get my new found interest in vegetarianism off to the right start, I started the day off with a $7.50 vegetarian lunch buffet at Tiffin Wallah, which happens to have the best southern Indian food I’ve had in Manhattan (buffet or otherwise).

I never cease to be impressed by the way this place infuses vegetables with enough umami and substance to make you swear they’d used a meat based stock. Stomach full, and on the 12 step program to recover from my porkaholism, I sauntered down to the Union Square Farmers Market to look for some inspiration.

Sunchokes, stinging nettles and ramps seemed to be the flavours of the day, and I happened to have two of those ingredients at home already. I bought a pound of sunchokes and headed home, deciding to make a potage with some leftover stock and crème fraîche.

Sunchokes, Ramps, and Nettles in Stock

After simmering the sunchokes in the stock for an hour, they were tender and had imparted a mild sweetness to the broth. The stinging nettles and ramps went in at the last minute, and a quick blitz in the blender turned an ordinary looking vegetable stew into a glorious green soup that looked like it might glow in the dark if given a chance.

Creme fraiche melting into the the green nettle soup

Luscious and velvety with just a hint of sweetness, this nettle soup is wild and verdant on its own or mellow and refined with a dollop of rich crème fraîche. The flavours are so bright and concentrated this would even be good served as a sauce over some sauteed fava beans, mushrooms and asparagus.

Sunchoke Ramp and Nettle Soup Recipe

1 lbs sunchokes peeled and roughly chopped
2 1/2 C low sodium vegetable or chicken stock
1 lbs ramps roughly chopped
5 oz cleaned and blanched stinging nettles
salt to taste
creme fraiche

Add the sunchokes and stock to a stockpot. Cover and simmer over low heat for about an hour, or until the sunchokes are very tender. Add the ramps and nettles and cook for another minute or two until the ramps are a bright green in color and the nettles are warmed through.

Transfer to a glass blender and blend the nettle soup until smooth and bright green. Salt to taste then pour the green soup into 4 small soup bowls.

Top with a dollop of creme fraiche per bowl and serve with some crusty bread, toasted and rubbed with a raw clove of garlic.

  • http://chefholly.typepad.com/ Holly

    Porkaholism, you crack me up. The color is so amazing. Alas, two things I have never had, ramps and nettles.

  • http://chefholly.typepad.com/ Holly

    Porkaholism, you crack me up. The color is so amazing. Alas, two things I have never had, ramps and nettles.

  • http://www.figandcherry.com/ Christie @ Fig & Cherry

    LOL – porkaholism! Love the bright green colour you’ve achieved, makes me wanna dive right in ;)

  • http://www.figandcherry.com Christie @ Fig & Cherry

    LOL – porkaholism! Love the bright green colour you’ve achieved, makes me wanna dive right in ;)

  • http://www.sophiesfoodiefiles.blogspot.com/ Sophie

    Yummie! we call sunchokes in Dutch: aardperen!!
    This soup looks so fresh green & delcious! great soup!!

  • http://www.sophiesfoodiefiles.blogspot.com Sophie

    Yummie! we call sunchokes in Dutch: aardperen!!
    This soup looks so fresh green & delcious! great soup!!

  • http://www.whatdoiwant2cooktoday.blogspot.com/ Jan

    Fantastic colour! Looks delish!

  • http://www.whatdoiwant2cooktoday.blogspot.com Jan

    Fantastic colour! Looks delish!

  • http://www.shesimmers.com/ Leela

    I have never had sunchokes, stinking nettles, and ramps all in the same dish before, but your description sold it for me. And the color! I also love the idea of serving this over sauteed vegetables.

  • http://www.shesimmers.com/ Leela

    I have never had sunchokes, stinking nettles, and ramps all in the same dish before, but your description sold it for me. And the color! I also love the idea of serving this over sauteed vegetables.

  • http://lisaiscooking.blogspot.com/ lisaiscooking

    Sounds fresh and fantastic! Great idea to use sunchokes, and the creme fraiche must give it great flavor.

  • http://lisaiscooking.blogspot.com/ lisaiscooking

    Sounds fresh and fantastic! Great idea to use sunchokes, and the creme fraiche must give it great flavor.

  • http://www.danatreat.com/ Dana

    That’s a lovely soup to make my (vegetarian) heart sing! I hope you stay on your pork cleanse to inspire us with more veg non-recipes. :)

  • http://www.danatreat.com Dana

    That’s a lovely soup to make my (vegetarian) heart sing! I hope you stay on your pork cleanse to inspire us with more veg non-recipes. :)

  • http://kitchensidecar.blogspot.com/ katiek @kitchensidecar

    gorgeous. love nettles. I made a nettle soup – a little play on italian wedding soup. with israeli couscous and homemade stock and lemon cinnamon meatballs.

    The nettles have such a rich texture. I finally found ramps in sf. they were foraged in oregon. i decided to defy the ramp-dom and go for garlic buds instead. i think they can be used in some similar fashions.

  • http://kitchensidecar.blogspot.com katiek @kitchensidecar

    gorgeous. love nettles. I made a nettle soup – a little play on italian wedding soup. with israeli couscous and homemade stock and lemon cinnamon meatballs.

    The nettles have such a rich texture. I finally found ramps in sf. they were foraged in oregon. i decided to defy the ramp-dom and go for garlic buds instead. i think they can be used in some similar fashions.

  • http://www.tasteslikehome.org/ Cynthia

    I’ve never eaten stinging nettles before.

  • http://www.tasteslikehome.org Cynthia

    I’ve never eaten stinging nettles before.

  • http://www.thedailyspud.com/ Daily Spud

    I’m just chuckling at the fact that one of your other commenters called them stinking nettles, lol :) Will definitely have to try soup the next time I give nettles a whirl.

  • http://www.thedailyspud.com Daily Spud

    I’m just chuckling at the fact that one of your other commenters called them stinking nettles, lol :) Will definitely have to try soup the next time I give nettles a whirl.

  • http://www.diaryofafanaticfoodie.com heather

    wow! how lovely and delicious!! i’ve never had nettles, but they’re on my list of foods i want to try.

  • http://www.diaryofafanaticfoodie.com/ heather

    wow! how lovely and delicious!! i’ve never had nettles, but they’re on my list of foods i want to try.

  • http://www.slim-shoppin.com/ Jenn@slim-shoppin

    Marc, I laughed when I read you are on the 12 step program from all the meat! Your dish looks amazing!

    I’m trying to add more veggies into my life too!

  • http://www.slim-shoppin.com Jenn@slim-shoppin

    Marc, I laughed when I read you are on the 12 step program from all the meat! Your dish looks amazing!

    I’m trying to add more veggies into my life too!

  • http://onlinepastrychef.wordpress.com/ Jenni

    What a gorgeous color, Marc! I bet it tasted as good as it looks.

    Good luck with your 12-step program. Remember, admitting you have a problem is often the hardest step. :lol:

  • http://onlinepastrychef.wordpress.com/ Jenni

    What a gorgeous color, Marc! I bet it tasted as good as it looks.

    Good luck with your 12-step program. Remember, admitting you have a problem is often the hardest step. :lol:

  • http://busyworkingmom.today.com/ soup recipe

    thanks for sharing this great soup recipe I cant wait to try it

  • http://busyworkingmom.today.com soup recipe

    thanks for sharing this great soup recipe I cant wait to try it

  • http://manggy.blogspot.com/ Manggy

    Yeah, I get those feelings too :) The answer for me is usually a salad or a no-meat stir fry, but this soup looks mighty good too :) (I’ll have to get you to ship stinging nettles here first, though, ha ha!)

  • http://manggy.blogspot.com Manggy

    Yeah, I get those feelings too :) The answer for me is usually a salad or a no-meat stir fry, but this soup looks mighty good too :) (I’ll have to get you to ship stinging nettles here first, though, ha ha!)

  • http://www.palatetopen.com/ Jen

    I’m a newbie to cooking with these three ingredients and like that I may discover all of them in one recipe.

  • http://www.palatetopen.com Jen

    I’m a newbie to cooking with these three ingredients and like that I may discover all of them in one recipe.

  • http://fivestarfoodie.blogspot.com/ Natasha – 5 Star Foodie

    We just had a green garlic and nettle soup at Studio in laguna beach and really loved the flavor of the nettle. I’m hoping to find it around here too. Your soup sounds wonderful with sunchokes and ramps too!

  • http://fivestarfoodie.blogspot.com Natasha – 5 Star Foodie

    We just had a green garlic and nettle soup at Studio in laguna beach and really loved the flavor of the nettle. I’m hoping to find it around here too. Your soup sounds wonderful with sunchokes and ramps too!

  • http://easydoesitrecipes.blogspot.com/ Christelle

    Another great and beautiful recipe!!
    Nettle soup is strangely quite common in rural France, butI don’t get to have it in Britain…

  • http://easydoesitrecipes.blogspot.com/ Christelle

    Another great and beautiful recipe!!
    Nettle soup is strangely quite common in rural France, butI don’t get to have it in Britain…

  • http://culinarydisaster.com/wordpress Jeff

    I have been on a mission scouring the earth for nettles and ramps but no luck yet. Come Spring time I do find my meat consumption going way down and sometimes non-existent in meals. So many awesome fresh flavors in fresh spring vegetables that I can’t stop eating them.

    Looks amazing!

  • http://culinarydisaster.com/wordpress Jeff

    I have been on a mission scouring the earth for nettles and ramps but no luck yet. Come Spring time I do find my meat consumption going way down and sometimes non-existent in meals. So many awesome fresh flavors in fresh spring vegetables that I can’t stop eating them.

    Looks amazing!

  • http://culinarytypes.blogspot.com/ T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types

    You should patent that color green – what a gorgeous looking soup! Great to see you at the Foodbuzz event.

  • http://culinarytypes.blogspot.com T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types

    You should patent that color green – what a gorgeous looking soup! Great to see you at the Foodbuzz event.

  • http://colloquialcookin.canalblog.com/ colloquial cook

    Clever use of the nettles! I am starting to also feel the need for something healthy. I guess only Stéphane is left in the porkathon.

  • http://colloquialcookin.canalblog.com/ colloquial cook

    Clever use of the nettles! I am starting to also feel the need for something healthy. I guess only Stéphane is left in the porkathon.

  • http://www.eattoblog.com/ Howard

    I love Tiffin Wallah, and the soup sounds amazing. Great stuff.

  • http://www.eattoblog.com Howard

    I love Tiffin Wallah, and the soup sounds amazing. Great stuff.

  • Patrick

    wow, this recipe seems right out of western NC. I was looking for some sunchoke weekend special inspiration, and I found this. It reminded me of the nettles that hurt so much coming down railroad camp, and the ramps that permeate the skin so much that kids get sent home from school the next day bc they smell so bad. Nice locavor soup for NYC, you should have served it with a shot of shine in place of the creme fraiche

  • Patrick

    wow, this recipe seems right out of western NC. I was looking for some sunchoke weekend special inspiration, and I found this. It reminded me of the nettles that hurt so much coming down railroad camp, and the ramps that permeate the skin so much that kids get sent home from school the next day bc they smell so bad. Nice locavor soup for NYC, you should have served it with a shot of shine in place of the creme fraiche

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  • Sussu

    I loved this soup! I turned the leftovers into crepes: 1 cup soup, 1/2 cup milk, 2 eggs, 2/3 cup flour, 1/4 tsp ground allspice, 1/4 tsp ground white pepper, 1 tsp salt. Whisk eggs and liquids together, blend in flour and spices, let rest for 30 mins. Fry thin crepes on hot cast iron pan in butter. They were great filled simply with some grated cheese and tomato jelly (chutney or chili jelly would probably work too).

  • Sussu

    I loved this soup! I turned the leftovers into crepes: 1 cup soup, 1/2 cup milk, 2 eggs, 2/3 cup flour, 1/4 tsp ground allspice, 1/4 tsp ground white pepper, 1 tsp salt. Whisk eggs and liquids together, blend in flour and spices, let rest for 30 mins. Fry thin crepes on hot cast iron pan in butter. They were great filled simply with some grated cheese and tomato jelly (chutney or chili jelly would probably work too).

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  • Swanjame

    Can you use dried (herbal) stinging nettles in this recipe?

    Jim

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      I don’t think you’ll get the same color and flavor with dried nettles.

  • Nipponnin

    Gorgeous color! I wonder what it would taste like. I hope you had a Happy New Year!

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I'm Marc, and I want to teach you some basic techniques and give you the confidence and inspiration so that you can cook without recipes too!