Fiddlehead ferns are one of Maine’s delightful indications that winter has ended. Their season is short, so eat them while you can.
- 2 lb Maine fiddleheads (fresh asparagus may be substituted)
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 large Vidalia onion, chopped
- 2 ribs celery, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 4 cup vegetable stock
- 1 tablespoon vegetable bouillon paste or powder
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
- Maine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Place fiddleheads in a large bowl, cover with cold water, and drain. Trim any brown ends. Be sure they are cleaned well. Reserve 12 or so small pretty ones for garnish and coarsely chop the rest.
In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until translucent. Add the fiddleheads, toss to coat them with butter, and cook 2 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients, bring to a simmer, and cook 15 minutes.
Float the reserved fiddleheads in the hot soup and let them blanch. Remove the fiddleheads from the pan and set aside. Dish up the soup and top with the blanched fiddleheads.
From Superb Maine Soups by Cynthia Finnemore Simonds