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Go wild with this easy green soup that’s perfect for spring

Woodlands are now pungent with the distinctive smell of wild garlic, one of Ireland’s best crops to forage

This recipe is quick and very easy, with plenty of scope for variations. I add the spinach and wild garlic leaves right at the end, when the soup is off the heat, so it simply wilts. The vibrant green colour of this soup fades quickly once it is puréed, so serve it immediately.

Frozen peas, broad beans, broccoli or any other vegetables can be added to this. Substitute celeriac for potato if you want less carbohydrate. I love a potato-based soup and find it filling and comforting, it also makes it more likely that children will eat it. Celeriac does give a delicious mild flavour that I love. Mint leaves are a great addition and can be used in place of the chilli and coriander for a bright spring soup.

Woodlands are now pungent with the distinctive smell of wild garlic as the ground is carpeted with patches of the broad, waxy leaves and some already have the small pretty white flowers. This is one of Ireland’s best crops to forage. I find the best way to preserve the leaves is to make a simple pesto or salsa verde by blitzing the leaves with good olive oil and a little salt. Add it to soups, sauces, lasagne, or simply use it to dress pasta or a salad. It is also great in a chicken sandwich. Shred some of the leaves and add them to your usual scone or bread recipe for a savoury seasonal loaf that is gorgeous with soups such as this.

If you can’t find wild garlic, the hardy three-cornered leek is a good substitute. The leek is more readily available and has thin, rougher, straight leaves. It smells more like onion or leek than garlic and its pretty white bell flowers are edible too.


My kids have always loved this time of year when they get a run around the woods, picking a few handfuls of wild garlic then coming home and making pesto to drizzle on their pasta or pizzas. Foraging outings such as this are a great way to connect with nature and tap into the seasons. It is a lovely way to spend a spring afternoon.

Recipe: Wild garlic soup with coriander and chilli

Lilly’s kitchen tips

  1. When foraging, only take what you need. Choose young, fresh leaves. Wash and process them as soon as you get home.
  2. Toasted sunflower seeds make a more affordable alternative to pine nuts when making pesto at home. Add a squeeze of lemon juice for brightness of colour and taste.
  3. Wild garlic flowers can be dried or used fresh as a delicious, garlic-flavoured garnish.