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Wild Leek Soup

My Spring Tradition

Oh how I love Muskoka mornings. They have a vibe that just hooks you. There I am, pulling on a hoodie, already planning today’s kitchen saga. On the menu? Potato and wild leek soup, a spring Muskoka classic, rough around the edges but a warm belly hug that’s necessary after an early spring hike in the woods.

Wild leeks, or ramps if you fancy, are the forest’s secret stash, popping up when the air still bites but the ground decides it’s had enough of the frost. Locating them is part treasure hunt, part old wisdom—something passed down like grandad’s old, beat-up canoe.

You look for them where there is dappled sunlight and the earth smells like last night’s rain mixed with old hardwood trees—a scent that says nature might let you in on a secret if you tread lightly.

Wild Leek and Potato Soup - Pure Muskoka

Harvesting wild leeks needs a light touch; the forest has no patience for the heavy-handed. They grow at a snail's pace, maturing fully over five to seven years. Given their rising popularity and unhurried growth, it's wise to pick only the leaves, letting the bulbs rejuvenate for seasons to come. The leaves pack tones of flavour anyway. .

Wild Leeks - Pure Muskoka

Practice restraint when harvesting wild leeks: take just a third of a clump before moving on to the next patch. Do your part and help keep the wild leek population healthy and flourishing for others. Learn more about harvesting leeks by clicking here.

Ingredients:
  •  6 slices bacon
  • 4 cups chopped wild leeks, including the green tops
  • 5 cups diced potatoes
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • Croutons
  • Salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

    Back in the kitchen, as I tie my apron, the scene is set. The dutch oven is out, looking every bit as seasoned as the woods I just wandered. A mound of potatoes sit ready alongside my harvest. There’s no fancy in this recipe; It’s about flavours that don’t need to shout to be heard.

    Preparation Instructions:
    1. Gather the ingredients.
    2. In a large cast iron skillet or dutch oven, fry the bacon until crispy, remove from the pan, pat dry with paper towel and set aside.
    3. Add wild leeks and potatoes to the bacon grease in the cast iron pan. Sauté on medium heat until the wild leeks are tender.
    4. Sift in the flour and stir with a wooden spoon until it is all absorbed.
    5. Stir in chicken broth, bring to a boil, turn down the heat, and simmer until the potatoes are tender.
    6. Stir in the heavy cream and heat thoroughly without boiling.
    7. Add salt and pepper to taste.
    For a chunkier soup, leave as is or if you want a smooth creamy soup, blend a portion of the vegetables and return to the broth.

    I prefer to serve this soup hot, but many like it as a cold soup too. Simply cover, and chill thoroughly to serve cold. Garnish with croutons and/or crumbled bacon, and serve with your favourite crusty bread.

      Chop, sizzle, simmer—the mantra of any good soup day. Cooking here is an antidote to city life. The soup doesn’t hurry, and why should it? When in Muskoka, I run on a different clock. That’s the thing about making soup up north—it absorbs the day’s rhythm, slow and deliberate.

      By the time it’s ready, the kitchen smells like the woods threw a dinner party. It’s hearty, down-to-earth, with a twist of wild you just can’t find in a store. A good loaf of bread, a ladle, and bowls—preferably chipped from years of service—that’s all you need.

      Wild Leeks - Pure Muskoka

      Serving this soup is an exercise in communal simplicity. Everyone gathers, fills their bowls, and for a moment, it’s just us, the soup, and the crackling fire.

      "Eat up," I say, and it’s all smiles as we dive in. As the bowls scrape clean, someone always drops, “Man, you can’t get soup like this in the city.”

      Wild Leek & Potato Soup - Pure Muskoka

      They’re right. You can’t. Because the secret isn’t just in the wild leeks or the hearty potatoes. It’s in the Muskoka air and in the warmth of the seasoned firewood. It’s in the knowing that the best meals aren’t just eaten; they’re lived, right here, right here right now.

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