Great gar­den recipes

Lo­vage and potato soup

Country Smallholding - - Inside This Month -

Lo­vage (Le­vis­ticum of­fic­i­nale), aka love-ache or love pars­ley, is one of our most an­cient herbs and a much-used main­stay of monastery gar­dens. Pop­u­lar for love po­tions, it was thought to be an aphro­disiac, hence its com­mon names.

Re­cently, it has had a bit of a make-over: nu­tri­ent-rich and an aid to di­ges­tion, it is one of the rec­om­mended foods in the Sirt­food diet list.

Re­lated to an­gel­ica, car­rot, cel­ery and pars­ley, all parts of the plant are ed­i­ble: roots, young, ten­der cen­tral stems, young leaves and ripe seeds.

In com­mon with many herbs, avoid dur­ing preg­nancy of if you have kid­ney prob­lems.

Aro­matic and slightly medic­i­nal, lo­vage’s deep green scent com­bines hints of cel­ery, pars­ley and an­gel­ica.

Chopped young leaves are fab­u­lous stirred into steamed sum­mer veg­eta­bles, new pota­toes, mash, cream cheese, risotto, eggs, stuff­ings, soups and casseroles or packed in­side chicken and whole fish. As a gen­eral guide, lo­vage tastes twice as strong as cel­ery.

Lo­vage and potato soup

This is such a sooth­ing yet in­vig­o­rat­ing soup, creamy but with no need for ac­tual cream. Ad­just lo­vage quan­ti­ties to suit in­di­vid­ual taste.

In­gre­di­ents (Serves 4) 1 kilo pota­toes, peeled and diced 3- 4 young lo­vage stalks 1 ta­ble­spoon each but­ter and oil 1 large onion, diced 3- 4 spring onions, sliced 1 gar­lic clove, finely chopped Freshly ground black and ground white pep­per 1 gel veg­etable stock pot (or favourite stock- cube) Small hand­ful lo­vage leaves, chopped Method Boil pota­toes with lo­vage stalks un­til ten­der. Drain, re­serv­ing cook­ing wa­ter. Dis­card lo­vage stalks. Heat but­ter and oil in deep pan. Fry onions slowly un­til soft. Stir in stock pot/crum­bled cube and add gar­lic to­wards end of cook­ing time. Stir in drained pota­toes. Sea­son and add lo­vage leaves. Trans­fer to blender/ food pro­ces­sor with a lit­tle cook­ing liq­uid and process un­til smooth. Add more liq­uid if nec­es­sary. Re­turn to washed pan and sim­mer for 5-10 min­utes.

Lo­vage and potato soup

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