• Posted by Karen Dill on April 6th, 2009, 3:49 PM

    This is an adaptation of a recipe of Emeril Lagasse’s, made a bit more rustic (and southern). I’ve substituted bacon grease for vegetable oil in the roux, and left it chunky instead of pureeing it smooth. Of course, it could be made into a lighter vegetarian soup by using the oil instead, and veg broth instead of chicken. Either way, the grilled ramps are the star!


    (Serves 6)

    1/2 cup bacon grease (or vegetable oil)
    1/2 cup all-purpose flour
    4 quarts chicken broth
    2 cups heavy cream
    2 tablespoons olive oil
    4 bunches fresh ramps, trimmed and large leaves removed

    1. Combine the grease or oil and the flour in a large, heavy pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until it forms a thick, smooth paste (the roux), 5 to 6 minutes. Whisk in the stock and the cream. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to medium-low.
    2. Brush the ramps with olive oil and lightly grill them. Cut all but 6 ramps into 1-inch pieces. Add the chopped ramps to the soup, season with salt and pepper, and simmer for about 40 minutes. (If you’d like a smooth soup, remove from the heat and using a hand-held blender, puree until smooth).
    3. Ladle the soup into shallow bowls, and garnish with the grilled ramps.

    Karen Dill lives in Webster, North Carolina, which is located in the Smoky Mountains near the town of Sylva.

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