Simple Asparagus and Ramp Soup with Rustic Spelt Bread

Created by Laura Wright
5 from 2 votes

Simple asparagus and ramp soup is easy to prepare and just a perfect recipe for spring enjoyment. Only 8 ingredients and ready in 30 minutes!

An overhead shot of a bowl of creamy, mellow green asparagus soup. The bowl of soup is garnished with kale chips, cooked quinoa, violet flowers and pieces of avocado. Slices of bread are shown to the side.
Image shows ramps being cleaned with a hose outside.
Two images show a bowl of mellow and creamy green asparagus soup. The osup is garnished with kale chips and violet flowers. There are slices of bread to the side.


A part of me kind of feels a bit indulgent for posting a recipe with ramps/wild leeks today. I’ve read recently that they are sought out aggressively as some sort of “foodie merit badge.” I enjoy their mild and sweet onion-to-garlic taste and burst of first warm season nutrition. Spotting them on a Spring hike offers a special kind of thrill. There’s a sense of freedom in sourcing your own food by wild means!

But there is growing evidence that ramps/wild leeks are over-foraged. Since their glamorization of recent years, less thought is being given to their sometimes 18-month germination stage (kale is 5 days by comparison) and multi-year growth period necessary to produce an edible bulb. I went on a deep dive reading blog posts and articles about dwindling ramp populations, stories of families that would look forward to gathering a few every year, having to go deeper and deeper into the forests for them as time has worn on.

Those gorgeous photos of leafy bundles piled high at a farmer’s market table seem to capture a myopic worldview in some ways! Fortunately, there are plenty of pieces that detail on sustainable harvesting techniques. In the discussion of local eating (whatever it may be defined by in whatever circle you find yourself in), entitlement, movements of excess and the need for more thorough investigation always seem to come up in an ethics tug of war.

Anyway, as with all things we take into our bodies, there has to be at least a little thinking involved. I enjoyed these first bits of spring to the brim of fullness. From painstakingly washing away the grit and forest-y attachments to the actual enjoyment of the end product. Taking them in slowly and approaching the food with thought means a longer-felt satiation for me.

Today, I’m sharing a simple asparagus and ramp soup that just oozes fresh spring energy. The ramps really shine in this easy soup. I even folded them into a rustic bread to enjoy alongside! I used Nigel Slater’s spelt bread recipe and folded in some of the chopped up ramp greens. So nice!

I’ll also add a few notes on this asparagus and ramp soup in general. The best thing about asparagus (to me) is that slight vegetal sweetness. I utilize acid in the form of white wine and lime at the end to enhance the sweet. Lastly, I enrich the stock with some wilt-y asparagus bits. Asparagus sweated out, simmered and puréed with asparagus stock? That’s the absolute peak of clean asparagus flavour right there!

And some more asparagus goodness for you: Lemony Spring Pasta Salad, Pesto Quinoa and White Bean Bake with Spring Veg, and a Grilled Asparagus and French Lentil “Niçoise” Salad.

Image shows a bowl of ramps after the've been cleaned, in harsh sunlight.
Two images show asparagus being sautéed in a pot and a bowl of mellow green asparagus soup with lots of garnishes.

Simple Asparagus and Ramp Soup

Simple asparagus and ramp soup is easy to prepare and just a perfect recipe for spring! Only 8 ingredients!
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings 4

Ingredients

Soup Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 12 ramps/wild leeks, cleaned and chopped (white bulbs and greens divided)
  • 1 medium waxy potato, peeled and diced
  • 1 lb bunch of asparagus, trimmed and chopped
  • teaspoon ground cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • ¼ cup dry white wine
  • sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • 4-5 cups vegetable stock (see note on enriching stock with asparagus)
  • 2 teaspoons lime juice

Optional Garnishes

  • kale chips (chopped kale tossed in oil, salt + pepper and baked in a single layer at 400°F for about 10 minutes or until crisp)
  • cooked quinoa
  • diced avocado
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • fresh pepper
  • chopped chives/chive blossoms
  • edible flowers

Equipment

Notes

  • I like to simmer my vegetable stock with a few chopped up pieces of asparagus prior to making this to really amp up the sweet asparagus flavour. Usually the tough ends that I’m trimming anyway are perfect for this!

Instructions

  • Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the chopped white ramp bulbs to the pot. Stir them around and cook them until slightly softened, about 2 minutes.
  • Add the diced potato, asparagus and cayenne. Sauté the vegetables for a minute or so. Add the white wine, let the alcohol burn off a bit and stir the vegetables some more. Season everything with salt and pepper. Keep cooking the vegetables until the asparagus is bright, bright green, about 4 minutes.
  • Add the vegetable stock to the pot (enough to cover by an inch or so) and bring the mixture to a boil. Simmer the soup until the potatoes are just tender, about 15 minutes or so. Add the chopped ramp greens and stir. Simmer until the ramp greens are bright and softened, about 2 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat.
  • Carefully blend the soup in batches in your blender to purée. Add the blended soup back to the pot. Add the lime juice to the puréed soup and stir to combine. Check the soup for seasoning and adjust if necessary (more salt, lime etc). To serve, bring the pureed soup to a boil and serve with any garnishes you like.
08/05/2013 (Last Updated 04/08/2023)
Posted in: creamy, earthy, gluten free, grain-free, kale, main course, nut free, quick, refined sugar-free, salty, side dish, soup, spring, sweet, vegan

32 comments

Recipe Rating




  • Anjelica

    Lovely soup, wish I followed my gut and went with a pinch of cayenne. It overpowers the entire soup which is a bummer. 

  • Racquel

    Hi! So I made the soup and it was delicious after a critical modification. You MUST dial back the cayenne from 1/2 tsp to literally a SMALL pinch. This is a CRITICAL change. The soup was literally not edible and had to be thrown away when I added the 1/2 tsp cayenne. My husband can take heat, but he was not able to eat this. Not even practically an entire container of sour cream was able to cool the soup down! If anything – I would add 1/2 PINCH of cayenne – not a 1/2 tsp. It is otherwise a good recipe, but this change is critical!

    • Kimberly

      Wish  I had read this comment before making!  I TOTALLY agree – We are a family that likes heat but this was far too much!

  • Sini

    Gosh, this soup is so pretty! Unfortunately, ramps are hard to come by here in Finland. They aren’t sold on farmers’ markets or in stores and few people seem to forage them. This year, however, I’m going to try and find some. To my excitement, my mom brought a bunch of ramps with her all the way from Munich yesterday! I felt like the luckies girl ever.

    So happy I discovered this old post.

  • Phoebe Lapine @FeedMePhoebe

    Both the bread and the soup look incredible. Asparagus is such a delicious spring vegetable and I love eating it in soup. Yum!

  • Cwis

    I just made this soup and it didn’t come out the bright green color like the photo. Instead it looks like a murky greenish brown, closer to split pea soup. I used vegetable broth, not stock. Could that be the reason why?

    • Laura Wright

      Hi Cwis,
      Vegetable broth and stock are pretty interchangeable for me, so I’m sure that isn’t it. Did it taste good? It sounds like the aspragus got a little overcooked at some point… Once the veg is JUST tender, I end the cooking process and blend immediately so that I don’t lose the colour. Also, the asparagus I had used was quite thick, so maybe this allowed for some extra cooking time. Hope some of this is helpful to you.
      -L

  • Jocelyn (Grandbaby Cakes)

    This soup looks so incredible!!! Just so simple yet so complex with flavor.

  • Chiara

    Gorgeous photos!

    I’ve made this soup twice over the past few weeks to take advantage of the early veg. The first time it was amazing, so fresh and light. Dead easy too.

    The second time, I think I over cooked the vegetables and it was a bit unappetizing; I didn’t go back for seconds.

    So be careful not to over cook the greens.

  • Danielle

    What an absolutely beautiful soup – so lovely with the splash of violet flowers and kale. It makes me feel that invigorating sense of spring just looking at it! It is a difficult consideration to make – I love eating wild things and the whole sense of nourishment that comes from going out in the forest to harvest. But then, what happens when everyone wants that! Or when a market opens up and the demand exceeds the availability? I came to the conclusion that I would only harvest the leaves and leave (no pun intended) the rootlets to continue growing. The leaves are just as delicious and then I’m happy and the plant is happy (or happier). Anyhow, I will be making this soon – nothing so good as a luscious green soup and a good rustic bread :)

  • Jacqui

    These shots are gorgeous Laura! Keep on rockin’ it!

  • ileana

    What a gorgeous soup!

  • Kristy

    Seriously, Laura- that is one of the most gorgeous soups I’ve ever seen! And the photography is just stellar! Wowzers!

  • Marta @ What should I eat for breakfast today

    I want the bread! It looks so good. Baking starts to be my new hobby.

  • Kankana

    Asparagus soup is one of my fav. In fact asparagus is one of my fav in any form! Ramp on the other hand is something I haven’t had yet and am seeing it a LOT in the blog sphere. Clearly, I am missing out on something special and must find a bunch before the season slips by! LOVE the styling of your photos as always.

  • Kathryne

    I have never tasted a ramp, but for all the blog love they have been getting lately, they must be super tasty. Your pictures are so gorgeous, Laura. Teach me!

  • jodye @ chocolate and chou fleur

    How beautiful this is! the soup is so vibrant! I love a good bowl of soup with some rustic bread. Perfect summer meal.

  • Lindsey

    awesome! thanks :)

  • kels

    Thank you, dear one, for challenging the ramp-hype. I have to admit, when I see pictures of ramps all over Instagram I sorta feel like this: http://bit.ly/115R28h. It’s a shame how we, humans, can take a good thing and just make a mess out of it. I feel the same way about quinoa. I wrote about the human rights issues around it in Bolivia a few years ago and it was quite touchy for people, I’m proud of you for not being afraid to GO THERE. Okay, off the soapbox. This soup is stunning in all ways.

  • hungryandfrozen

    You are the queen of soup garnishes with that list, my goodness.

    I have so long to wait for asparagus – Winter has just started here – but I know what you mean about a short burst of seasonal food being enough. I adore strawberries to pieces but I am actually happy to wait for them. I’m not sure I could live entirely seasonally, but I’m certainly happy to wait for some things because they simply won’t taste as good out of their proper time.

    And so, I will wait, and wait, and wait, and come November or December, make myself this soup ;)

    Also, love that bread recipe, I haven’t made bread in ages and I love how it looks like it’s smiling at me!

  • Lindsey

    the soup sounds amazing. do you think i could substitute a white yam for the waxy potato? not sure it would work. beautiful ,beautiful photos.

    • Laura Wright

      Hey Lindsey! You could certainly use a white yam in place of the potato. The starch content of the yam may be a bit lower so it won’t provide as much creaminess, but I think it will still get the job done :)
      -L

  • Dervla @ the curator

    hands down the most lovely photos of green soup ever! Plus I didn’t know about ramps being overforested, and I’m working on a book about foraging, oh no! Isn’t it amazing that too many people are foraging now, and a few years ago you couldn’t pay them to do it.

  • Zita

    I am in love with this post. Period.

  • Eileen

    That soup is so green an beautiful!I love the violets as garnish. This really makes me wish we had any chance at ramps here on the west coast…but I suppose actual baby leeks will work well too. :)

  • Renee

    This soup sounds simply lovely. I adore the inclusion of a hearty home-baked bread – there truly is nothing better with than a soup/crusty bread comfort combo. Also loving the budded chives – beautiful!

  • Mariela

    I am a sucker for creamy green soups. Love the recipe. Gorgeous!

  • sarah

    Lovely post Laura! I’ve only had asparagus soup once, and it was delicious. It was years and years and years ago, and I’ve always meant to try and recreate it, but now I can just make yours. And that bread! It looks so good.

  • Kathryn

    I’ve been slightly taken aback by the ramps-love this year – they’ve never really been on my radar before but the word does seem to have gone ramp-crazy. It’s sad to hear that that might cause problems for future crops. Saying that, I’m pretty sure I’d love them if I tried them. They sounds exactly like my kind of thing.

  • carey

    It’s funny, for the few short weeks that ramps are in season here, their presence at stores and farmers’ markets would make you think they were grown in giant crops on every farm, not sought out in the woods. I’d like to think that this is due to an abundance of mature plants and skilled foragers, but something tells me that isn’t the case (especially given the demanding restaurant industry around here). *sigh*. I go a bit crazy for them when they first show up, but the idea of over-foraging will make me think twice about how many I really need to consume before the season ends. (I actually had no idea how highly sought after they were until this year. Thanks, instagram! Totally teaching me things.)

    And this soup = early spring perfection. Spring-y flavors and un-funked up asparagus, but still warming with some bready goodness. And heck yes to flower garnishes. It really needs to cool the F down here, because this 80° sunny weather in May is kind of lame. (I don’t know if many people around here would agree with me, but it is.) I want highs in the low 70s and equal amounts of sun, clouds, and rain. Like, ya know, spring weather.

  • thelittleloaf

    Super pretty pictures! I’ve made a variation on Nigel Slater’s spelt loaf too but including ramps (or whatever herby, oniony replacement I can get in the UK) sounds divine. Yum!

  • Kris

    Lady! I love the story, the recipes, and the photos (of course). Hats off to you for that stunning (STUNNING) finished soup photo!