Locavore Muskoka: Fiddlehead Soup

It is known as the locavore movement — an effort to eat what’s harvested locally. In Muskoka’s case, that may mean cooking with ingredients picked direct from the garden in your backyard, or chosen from among the goodness presented by our local farmers at weekly outdoor markets.

“If it grows together, it goes together.” — Robin Little

This month, MuskokaStyle catches up with the locavore craze, offering Muskoka foodies a fiddlehead recipe devised by Robin Little, Executive Sous Chef at  JW Marriott The Rosseau Muskoka. Why fiddleheads? These strange looking mini ferns are foraged from the forest (or “the bush” as we say in Muskoka), but they’re also often available in spring at local Muskoka farmers markets.

Little says: “My simple rule for great food is if it grows together, it goes together—meaning if it grows in the same season it will automatically go together in a perfect marriage of flavours.”

Here’s Robin Little’s recipe for Fiddlehead Fern Soup.

Fiddlehead Fern



4 tbsp butter
3/4 cup sliced Cipollini onions
4 cloves of garlic sliced
1 bouquet garni (thyme, bay leaf, parsley stems)
4 cups chicken stock
1 cup cream
2 cups blanched and shocked fiddlehead ferns, chopped
1 cup blanched spinach leaves
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp lemon juice


Robin Little, Executive Sous Chef, JW Marriott
Robin Little, Executive Sous Chef, JW Marriott

In a large saucepan, cook leeks, onions, and garlic in butter for about four minutes until the onions are tender. Add the bouquet garni and then the chicken stock; bring to a gentle boil, add cream and bring to a boil again. Add in the fiddlehead ferns and cook for five more minutes. Reduce heat; simmer uncovered until heated through. Add in the blanched spinach and transfer to a blender and blend on high speed until very smooth and bright green in colour. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in lemon juice and serve with garnish of choice. Yield: 4 servings.

Photos and recipe by Robin Little, courtesy of JW Marriott The Rosseau Muskoka.

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