Wild Garlic & Cheddar Soup Recipe - Food Styling 4 Ways

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April 07, 2020

Hey! Even though we're in stange, lock down times spring has still arrived (thank god!) and there's lots of lovely seasonal produce becoming available and local, wild food to forage. 

Now is the time to enjoy wild garlic and this year I wanted to do more with it than pesto!  Apparently you can pickle the flowers which will be my next way to enjoy them, but here I'm showing you how to make wild garlic and cheddar soup AND four different ways to style it.

If you like broccoli and stilton soup - and garlic - I'm sure you will love this recipe!  The punchy wild garlic is met by the strong cheese and softened with cream and chicken stock (or veggie stock if you prefer to skip the meat element and make this a vegetarian recipe).  As always I class this as a lazy, tasty and pretty recipe.

I'm showing four different ways to compose a shot for this soup recipe as I have used it as an example in my Styling & Composition course and thought I'd share some of them here.  I hope you find the ideas and compositions useful - there are many more styling tips and tricks in my courses if you want to check them out!

Anyway, back to the recipe.  Oh and of course make sure you're safe and keeping a good distance if you go out foraging, stay local!




1 tbsp olive oil

1 onion, finely chopped

2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced

25g  butter

800ml chicken or vegetable stock

6-10 wild garlic leaves, thoroughly washed and roughly chopped

120g cheddar or other strong cheese, crumbled

50ml single cream

Black pepper

Extra olive oil and wild garlic, cheese and cream for dressing


1. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan and add the onion. Cook on a medium heat until golden and sweetening. Add a splash of water if needed.

2.  Boil the potatoes until soft enough for mashing.  Drain and reserve the water. 

3. If using fresh stock add it to the onions now, if using a stock cube add it to the onions with 800ml of the potato water.  Add the wild garlic and bring to the boil, simmer for 5 minutes.  Allow to cool slightly and blitz with a handheld blender.

4.  Meanwhile mash the potato, stirring through the butter and cream once smooth. Season with black pepper.

5.  Stir the blitzed stock and garlic mix into the potato.  

6.  Stir in the cheese. Season again with pepper to taste.

7. Warm up again to serve or leave to cool and chill for later.

Dress with finely chopped fresh garlic leaves in olive oil, cream, more crumbled cheddar and croutons as you like.


I hope you enjoy this recipe! Please let me know below or tag me on Instagram @blackvelvetstyling #lazytastypretty


Now, if you're interested in the styling element to this post, here are 4 different food styling ideas to split the frame and compose a shot

We're not talking about home ec, techy food styling here - as you can see each bowl of soup is very similar (and if you look really closely you'll see it's gone cold in some of the shots!)- it's more about framing the hero, guiding the eye around the image and splitting the frame in pleasing ways. 

If that's all new to you and you'd like to learn more check out my online content creation courses for composition, photography, prop styling and food styling techniques!


Styling technique 1 - asymmetric balance with leading lines around the image

This is probably my go-to styling composition - I like an off centre arrangement, balanced with props of different 'weights'.  Its also useful for me to leave a lot of white space so my backdrops are integral to the image and can be seen clearly.

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Styling technique 2 - strong framing of the hero

Framing your hero is a classic trick to make an obvious focal point of the image - in food styling this could be a pan, a napkin, a wooden board or any extra layer that makes the hero more dominant.

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Styling technique 3 - level drop with light and focus falling away

This technique has been popularised by restaurant content creators and Instagrammers using a nice way to split the image by including the edge of a table or other tall surface.  Composition wise it's graphic and clear at phone screen size but still feels natural and informal.

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Styling technique 4 - diagonal split frame

A more editorial composition, this styling arrangement works well with repeated dishes, bakes and small chocolates where you can run a group of subjects off both sides of the image.  With any repetitive style its not the best for getting a lot of detail unless you have a small subject you can crop tight on.

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What do you think? Which is your favourite?  I'd love to hear your thoughts below! Or ask me about styling your product or food!


I hope you've enjoyed this post - stay home, stay positive, stay you, keep creating,

Sophie xx


All images shot on the Brick shelf wood effect printed photography backdrop.



Sasha said:

I’ve been waiting for this recipe since you teased it the other day! I have a pot of wild garlic in my garden- we picked it a couple of years ago as there was lots at the edge of a brook and it’s roots were easily pickable! Planted it up and it comes back every year without fail. I’m always looking for new ways to use it and this recipe looks so so delicious!

I love how you’ve styled each and every one of these. Each one is so beautiful in its own way and I can’t choose a favourite! I really love the soft light in the third one but all of the compositions are gorgeous. Love how you describe them too, really helpful insight :)

Deborah Ryan

Deborah Ryan said:

This is so helpful!


Annie said:

I love soup and this one looks perfect- so fresh and springlike. Thank you for sharing composition techniques. It’s fascinating to hear the thoughts behind each image…and I really can’t choose a favourite. They are all great!

Priya Joshi

Priya Joshi said:

Love this post! Thanks Sophie for providing some great tips and a delicious recipe! My local spot to forage is quite a small and usually busy pathway so we’ve decided to give it a miss this year, but I’ve managed to get some added to my next veg box which is equally as exciting!
Thanks again for the tips on styling and I definitely want to make the soup as soon as I have my lot of wild garlic!


Soph said:

Thank you for your lovely comments guys!

I’m glad you like the food styling tips, I love writing about and formatting this kind of stuff – although style is of course personal taste and a very subjective area I think it is still valuable and interesting to describe it and try to understand some principles.

Hope you enjoy making the soup too! Stay safe, stay you, keep creating!

Soph xx

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