May 25, 2020

Fiddlehead Soup

Fiddlehead Soup

Faith Pineo Photo | Fiddlehead Soup

I tend to make a lot of soups, usually because there are odds and ends of things in the refrigerator or garden or freezer that ought to get used.

The creation of this soup was really no different. I had fresh fiddleheads and some ham left from a shoulder cooked the night before. So I wondered what I could make of that.


Janine Pineo Photo | Fiddleheads

Here’s what the result was. And if I say so myself, it turned out to be a tasty dish.

If you aren’t familiar with fiddleheads, they are a springtime delicacy in Maine. The furled ostrich fern as it emerges in the spring is picked and cleaned, usually served steamed or boiled.

Fiddlehead Soup

4 tablespoons butter
2 medium onions
3 stalks celery
3 medium potatoes
2 cups fiddleheads, cleaned
2 cups cooked diced ham
2 cans chicken broth
4 cups water
1 tablespoon parsley flakes
1 tsp. coarse black pepper
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. sea salt (optional if the ham isn’t too salty)

Roughly chop or dice the onion, celery and potatoes. Melt the butter in a Dutch oven over medium heat and add the onion and celery, cooking until they begin to soften. Add the potatoes.

Allow that to cook for about five minutes, then add the chicken broth and water. Add the ham and spices.

Depending on how coarse the chop, you may want to cook this until the potatoes start to soften before adding the fiddleheads to cook for the last half-hour or so. If it’s a finer chop, then add the fiddleheads now.

Cook over a low heat until the potatoes are done, at least 90 minutes. (I cooked mine over low heat for about three hours because of the very large pieces of potato and celery I had done.)

Variation: I considered turning this into a chowder by adding a can of evaporated milk. Maybe next time.

– Janine Pineo