Simple Fiddlehead Fern Soup
This simple preparation really highlights the fresh, bright spring flavor of fiddlehead ferns. Fresh fiddleheads are preferred, of course, but we've found that frozen fiddleheads are the next best thing and will work very well too.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat, then add the fiddleheads. Return to a boil and cook until the fiddleheads are barely tender. This will only take about 5 minutes. Drain the water off and quickly rinse the fiddleheads with cold water. Chop coarsely and reserve.
Melt the butter over medium heat in a saucepan. Add the onion and sauté, stirring from time to time, until it becomes translucent. Add the fiddleheads and the chicken stock and stir, increasing the heat to medium high. Bring to a gentle boil, cover, and cook until the fiddleheads are completely tender, about 5 minutes.
Add the milk, reduce the heat to medium and continue cooking until close to boiling. Do not permit the soup to boil or the milk will curdle. Stir in the lemon zest and season the soup to taste with salt and pepper.
Garnish the individual bowls of soup with paprika and serve immediately.