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Ramp Soup

1 Pound Stew Meat

20 Ramps

5 Stalks Celery

3 Carrots

1 Pound Potatoes

20 Ramps

2 Tablespoons Butter

Salt And Pepper -- to taste

Boil 1 pound of beef for about 15 minutes in 2 quarts of salted water, skimming off any scum that may form. Then dice and add 18 to 20 ramps, the celery stalks, carrots, and the pound of potatoes to the mixture, and simmer for 2 to 3 hours. Afterwards, fry another 18 to 20 ramps in butter for about 10 minutes or until thoroughly cooked. To these add one large cup of soup, salt and pepper to taste, and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. Extract the meat (seerve separately), combine both mixtures, press through a colander, stir, and reheat.

Ramps can be canned or frozen for winter use.

Biographical Note:

Ramps, related to wild leeks, are perhaps the best known of all edible wild plants in West Virginia. This herb is found in great abundance in many of the mountainous counties from April to June, although in some areas it is rapidly becoming scarce due to commercial collectors. Only time will tell whether or not this plant follows ginseng into relative oblivion.

Many people are seemingly offended by the rather strong lingering odor associated with ramp eaters, but a two to three day waiting period is usually sufficient to re-enter society and the taste more than compensates for the inconvenience.

Ramps are excellent raw, although they are usually parboiled and seasoned, or fried in bacon grease.

Source: "Mountain Measures"--Junior League of Charleston, WV ed. 1974





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