It’s the time of year when one of the most delicious wild edibles thrusts itself out from under the leaves with reckless abandon—the wild leek. Here in Duluth the leek is often the very first green you’ll see in the woods. This makes them easy to find if you what to look for.
Leeks prefer areas in stands of hardwoods, like maple and ash, with plenty of moisture. A seasonal creek bank is a good location. Their life cycle is short and they will soon be shaded out by emerging tree leaves. So get them while you can! They are easily dug with a hand trowel but are connected to a root system you must sever before being able to lift them from the ground.
Wild Leek and Potato Soup Recipe
My favorite recipe for leeks is Wild Leek and Potato Soup. A version of it follows. Happy Hunting!
Wild Leek and Potato Soup
2 c. leeks, diced
4 T butter
salt and black pepper, to taste
4 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
4 c. chicken or vegetable stock
1 c. warm milk
Saute the leaks with butter, salt and pepper.
Peel and dice potatoes and add to mixture in the pan when leeks begin to look translucent.
When potatoes begin to brown, add chicken or vegetable stock. Simmer until potatoes are tender.
Turn off heat and when boil ceases slowly stir in warm milk.
Garnish with a leek and a crusty baguette.