Soup, salad, and ramp biscuits

We were eager to cook with some more of our spring ramps, but decided to try something new…almost the only Epicurious ramp recipe we haven’t tried yet: ramp biscuits.  We paired these with Greek avgolemono (egg lemon) soup and fresh salad greens and sprouts.  The biscuits were delightfully tangy and went very well with the soup, made creamy by the egg more than sour from the lemon.

For the biscuits, we followed the recipe, except for substituting the buttermilk for lowfat milk and a scoop of sour cream.  The recipe called for 3/4 C chopped ramps, and this turned out to be 10-15 ramps, but provided a robust ramp flavor in the biscuits, and a beautiful color from the green leaves.  The dough was quite sticky and I just prepared them as drop biscuits, still adding the egg wash and crushed coriander which contributed wonderfully to the look, but probably not too much to the flavor.

Meanwhile, we started the soup by heating up 4 C vegetable stock and 4 C water.  We added a scoop of Better than Bullion to flavor the water, but in our experience this soup doesn’t need a very rich stock base because much of the flavor ends up coming from the eggs and lemons anyway.  We added some garlic and a bit of chopped onion, as much to use them up as to flavor the stock, but I don’t think it hurt anything.  Once it was boiling nicely, we added 1/2 C basmati rice to cook until tender.  Then I used 7 eggs (minus however much I used for egg wash for the biscuits), beaten well, and added 1 squeezed lemon.  The only step of making this soup that requires any attention is the tempering of the eggs — simply, add broth slowly into the egg mixture to raise the temperature of the eggs.  This allows the eggs to cook slowly in the broth as a thickener rather than quickly in fibers, like they would in egg-drop soup.   We added another half of a lemon and some salt and pepper, but otherwise the soup stands on its own, rich and creamy, with just a slight tang from the lemon.

We rounded this out with some fresh market salad — mixed lettuce greens and sprouts with a bit of oil and balsamic vinegar and a few shavings of parmesan on top.  The sprouts were a mixture of sprouting beans and radish sprouts.

All told, this meal came together well, but the ramp biscuits really stole the show.  We will have to find more opportunities to make these…or maybe even freeze some to pull out in the fall?  And the avgolemono soup will remain a standard recipe of ours, so easy it only requires enough planning to have some lemons on hand.

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