A few months ago we made a soup that tasted like the moment you wake up from camping. Viz…
Imagine, if you will, that you’re camping. You wake up in the morning and step out of your tent. Everything is damp and fragrant, and vividly glowing green. The ferns and grass and weeds are sweet and sharp, lemony and herbaceous. The smell of wet earth mingles with the smokiness of the embers from your fire of the night before.
Well, there was one thing missing from the occasion, and when we recently found bright beautiful fiddleheads at a local market, we knew we had to revisit the memory-of-camping. Let’s say this time it’s dusk. You’ve just been swimming in the river in the last warmth of the summer sun. You walk back along rapidly darkening trails, trampling ferns and weeds under foot, raising impossibly sweet scents that seem to surround you and cling to your wet skin. All around you the woods murmur with the secret life of busy summer bugs. A shivering breeze tugs at your damp clothes, so that when you reach your camp ground you’re glad to sit by a crackling fire that seems to smoke the changing light out of the damp earth.
We made that tart! It has a puree of roasted beets and garlic, mixed with all the spring (and summer) herbs we could find – thyme, rosemary, chervil, basil, summer savory. And smoked paprika warms the mixture. The fiddleheads are lightly boiled, and they add a lovely flavor and a little bit of texture to the tart. Delicious!!