Lemon-Rice Fiddlehead Soup

Lemon-Rice Fiddlehead Soup

It must have been a cold spring out East this year, because the fresh ostrich fern fiddleheads from the Maritimes are still showing up at my local market. It's summer now in Ontario, but I still relish this unique flavor of spring that some describe as a slightly nutty cross between asparagus and artichokes, and others as something like okra or broccoli. However you describe fiddleheads though, they are entirely distinctive in both taste and texture and deserve to be cooked simply without any other strong flavors to detract from the fiddlehead experience. This lovely lemon rice fiddlehead soup is easy to make and lets the fiddleheads shine through the mild flavors of lemon and rice.

To prepare fiddleheads, rinse them under running water and rub off the papery outer layer if it is still attached. Cut off the brown ends right before cooking, about a half inch from the head. If you are not going to cook them for a while after cutting off the stems, soak them in cold water.

Lemon-Rice Fiddlehead SoupLemon-Rice Fiddlehead Soup
Recipe by
Published on June 14, 2007

Simple, light and refreshing spring soup with fresh fiddleheads and white rice

Print this recipePrint this recipe

  • 1 lb (450 g) fresh fiddleheads
  • 6 cups vegetable stock or water seasoned with celery seed
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup uncooked white rice
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt, or to taste
  • fresh cracked black pepper
  • Rinse the fiddleheads under running water and rub off the papery outer layer if it is still attached. Cut off the brown ends about a half inch from the head.

  • Cover the fiddleheads in water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Cook for five minutes, then drain and set aside. (Don't worry that fiddleheads are supposed to cook for at least ten minutes — they will cook more later.)

  • Bring the vegetable stock or seasoned water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add the onions and rice, cover, and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 20 minutes.

  • Stir in the lemon juice and fiddleheads and raise the heat slightly, being careful not to let the mixture boil again. Simmer thoroughly for at least 10 minutes, then add salt and black pepper to taste.

  • Serve hot or warm.

Makes 6 servings


millufe said...

i've never had fiddlehead like this, it's good for summer. Lemon juice sounds nice.

Reg said...

I've only had fiddleheads once and didn't like them, that was a long time ago though so I would be willing to give them a whirl again.

fergy said...

Reg: They have to be young fresh and the right type, otherwise they are vile. And no, don't ask me cause I can't tell the difference.

Ian Scot said...

Mmmm... fiddleheads. I know you're vegetarian... but I have fond memories of eating fiddleheads picked in the wild here in Southern Ontario - and cooked up with a shore lunch of freshly caught rainbow trout on the Wilmot Creek.