Vegetable soups are among my favorite things to make. They're easy to improvise, and a great way to showcase whatever is in season. This is a simple recipe that works year-round, but it's especially good when carrots are just coming into season. Caramelized ramp chips add a unique touch. If you don't want to use the milk, add more water to thin the soup if necessary. —Merrill Stubbs
6 to 8
finely chopped onion
large carrots, peeled and chopped
celery stalk, chopped
large ramp bulbs, thinly sliced
roughly chopped fresh dill
freshly ground black pepper
In This Recipe
Warm 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the onion, stir and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the carrots, nutmeg and a large pinch of salt and cook for another five minutes, stirring occasionally. Then add the celery and cook for 3 more minutes.
Add 3 cups of water, stir and increase the heat. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce the heat so that the soup is just simmering. Cook for about 25 minutes, until the vegetables are tender. Use a food processor to partially purée half the soup with 1/2 cup of the milk, keeping some texture. Put the other half of the soup in a blender with the rest of the milk and blend until completely smooth. If you prefer, you can pass the soup through a food mill or simply mash everything up with a spoon or a potato masher—you will end up with a chunkier soup, but it will still be delicious.
When you’re ready to eat, make the ramp chips. Heat the remaining 4 tablespoons oil in a small frying pan over medium-low heat and add the sliced ramps. Cook, stirring frequently, until the ramps are crispy and brown, about 3 minutes. Remove the chips with a slotted spoon and drain briefly on paper towels. Sprinkle lightly with salt.
Stir the dill into the soup and reheat gently, adding more salt if necessary and some pepper. Serve the soup in warm bowls with a sprinkling of ramp chips on top.