In my spare time I enjoy foraging, and little did I know when my father took me picking wild mushroom at the age of six that I would end up living in Ireland, in the beautiful village of Oughterard, collecting many other wild foods apart from mushrooms.
Right now, there is an abundance of three-cornered leek, a member of the onion and garlic family. Using it in this potato soup results in the most comforting bowl of deliciousness, with a subtle flavour of sweet onion and a hint of green pea.
The soup is very simple to make and perfect for this time of year, and if you cannot find three- cornered leek, then either wild garlic or spring onion is a great substitute.
Ulrich Hoeche, originally from Germany, has worked as a chef for the past 20-plus years, He now lectures Culinary Arts students in the Galway International Hotel School at GMIT.
Simple potato soup with a little wild twist
25g butter, and extra for the bread
1 small white onion, peeled and sliced
3 (250g) medium size potatoes, peeled and diced
600ml light chicken or vegetable stock
250g three-cornered leek, finely sliced (or wild garlic or spring onion)
130g natural yoghurt (I use Velvet Cloud sheep's milk yoghurt)
Salt and pepper
40g air-dried ham, or Parma ham, torn
Three-cornered leek flowers
Rustic sourdough loaf
A splash of high quality cold pressed Irish rapeseed oil
1. Heat the butter in a medium size saucepan and sweat the onion over a gentle heat until soft.
2. Stir in the potato and pour in the stock and bring to a gentle simmer.
3. Cook until the potato has fully softened and add the three-cornered leek.
4. Simmer for a further three minutes, then add the yoghurt and blend with a handheld mixer or jug blender, until totally smooth.
5. Season to your liking with salt and white pepper.
6. Finish with the air-dried ham, or Parma ham, rapeseed oil and some of the three-cornered leek flowers.
7. Serve with fresh buttered sourdough bread.
Chef's tip: Using yogurt instead of cream will give you richness without the calories, but ensure the yogurt is added at the end of cooking, to prevent the soup from splitting.
Kitchen Cabinet is a series of recipes from chefs who are members of Euro-toques Ireland who have come together during the coronavirus outbreak to share some of the easy, tasty things that they like to cook and eat at home #ChefsAtHome