Wild garlic, kale, and beef soup

 In Beef, Fruit, Vegetables & Cereals, Ingredients, Meat, Poultry & Game, Seasons, Spring, Wild Food

It’s interesting that this recipe is described such as wild garlic and kale soup, rather than flat rib braised with wild garlic. So often soup is the bi-product of a stewed or roast meat dish, the supporting cast to the main event, however in this instance the soup was the star. Stopping off at Tebay Farm Shop has long been the highlight of any journey to or from Scotland, and the quality of produce just seems to get better and better. On my return from Manchester last weekend I loaded up with many different cuts of beef, including flat rib, perfect for stewing and making soup.

Another recent highlight was the onset of spring, and the arrival of the wild garlic season. Indeed  it was so plentiful that thirty seconds of picking was all that was required for my weekend plans; homemade pesto, and alongside the aforementioned beef. I decided to wrap the beef in the leaves, and give it a long slow braise. The stock would become soup with the wild garlic, and summer kale I had also picked up. The result was possibly the finest soup I’ve ever made. The beef was almost gamey, giving such a rich stock, the kale and garlic blanched for thirsty seconds and then blitzed, such a symphony of real flavour, the little wild garlic buds bursting in your mouth just an added bonus.

Wild garlic, kale, and beef soup

1kg beef flat rib
15-20 leaves wild garlic plus 4-6 buds (washed)
2 small onions, roughly chopped
Sea salt
1/2 tsp black peppercorns
75g kale

Heat the oven to 140C. In an ovenproof dish with a lid, add the beef wrapped in 10-12 wild garlic leaves, plus a good pinch of salt and the peppercorns. Pour over 200ml water, and braised in the oven for 3-4 hours, until the meat falls from the bones.

Remove the beef and set aside (I served it simply with wedges, horseradish, and pickles). Add the remaining wild garlic and the kale to the dish.

Stir through, cover and heat for 30 seconds, until wilted. Using a hand blender or liquidiser, blitz the soup until it is smooth. Serve with 2 or 3 of the buds on top.

Wild garlic, kale, and beef soup

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