Ramps and White Cheddar Soup

ramp soup

One of the best ways to eat ramps is with cheese and I believe this may be one of the best ramp and cheese recipes I've eaten. It's usually the first thing we eat after we dig ramps and it's something I look forward to all year. Ramps and white cheddar soup is fairly easy to make, doesn't require a lot of ramps and makes use of both bulbs and greens.

Responsible Ramping

Before you seek out your ramps, please think about conservation. When we made the hike up to our normal ramp harvest area this season, I was glad to see it hadn't been hammered by foraging profiteers-wild edible pirates. That has not always been the case, though. We've had to abandon some spots, climbing higher to avoid over-harvest, and some patches have been completely stripped bare before we arrived. Collecting a few for personal use is one thing, but ramps have gotten so popular, droves of foragers are digging as much as they can carry to sell to restaurants or through farmers markets and roadside stands. When you dig your own, please remember to take only what you can reasonably use (a little goes a long way), only dig one or two from one clump spacing your harvest out as much as possible and leave the the roots in the ground undisturbed when you can. Ramp patches are sensitive areas, often occurring in highly erodible areas like stream banks. Spacing out the harvest helps to prevent erosion. Please be careful to not only be gentle on the ramp population but also on the other fragile species that frequently grow alongside of ramps. Please read this for more info on sustainably harvesting ramps or cultivating your own: Foraging Ramps.

If you buy ramps, please make an effort to find out how and where the ramps were harvested. Of course some sellers are more responsible than others.

Enjoy your ramps and cheese!

Comments

Sarah's picture

yum!!! Do they have ramps at the Harbor, Cindy? Or is there something I can sub for the ramps.?

Eric Orr's picture

Hey, Sarah.  Cindy's working on a catering and asked me to respond.  There probably aren't any ramps there, and if there are, they would be finished by now.  You could use garlic and scallions, or garlic scapes would be good if you can find some.

Trip Lea's picture

I have fond memories of ramp season - my wife and I went west from our home in Mills River every year in mid-April to dig ramps and still have the "special" maddocks we used.

Cindy's picture

Eric just came home with a backpack full, our years supply! We use these broad, double sided knives he got in the Philippines when he was a kid. I started a little patch at our place in Rabun County last year and was delighted to see them come up this spring. Hopefully the conditions will be amenable enough for them to reproduce. Maybe someday soon you and your wife will find yourselves in Mills River in the early spring and you can revisit your old ramping grounds.

Trip Lea's picture

Thanks for the update and glad he had such a successful outing (and to hear that they're still in season despite the warm winter); ENJOY

MamaKoolaid's picture

Ramps are now available many places to intentionally start in your yard. We got ours on Amazon and are happy leaving the wild ones alone.

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