Asparagus and Lovage Soup
Velvety Love Soup! This is what my young granddaughter calls this lovely spring soup. I agree with her. This soup is filled with fresh local asparagus, watercress and lovage. Add some chives, a homemade organic chicken broth and a little cream and you have a delicious velvety creation. Serve with a fresh baguette, sour dough if you can find one and some local cheeses, and this is a meal in itself.
What's not to Love about Lovage! Happy Spring!
2 Tablespoons of unsalted butter
1 Small onion, chopped
1 Shallot, chopped
1 Small-Medium Yukon Gold potato, or another type of new potato, peeled and cut into small pieces
1 Bunch of Asparagus
Handful of Lovage Leaves
1 Cup of Watercress Leaves
2 Tablespoons of Fresh Chives
4-5 Cups of Chicken Broth
1 Cup of Light Cream
1 Green Onion
Lovage Leaves for garnish
Sea Salt and Freshly ground Pepper
Heat butter in a heavy bottomed soup pot
Add onion and saute for about 5 minutes on medium-low
Add chopped shallot and saute for another 2 minutes on medium-low
Cook the onion and shallot together until translucent but not overcooked
Add chopped potato and saute for another minute
Break the bottom ends off of the asparagus and discard
Snap the asparagus spears into one inch pieces and add to onion mixture
Tear the lovage leaves and add to pot
Add the watercress leaves, you can add the stems if you like
Add the chives
Stir this mixture until well combined
Add chicken broth and bring to a light boil
Turn down heat and simmer for about 35 minutes until the potato and asparagus are cooked through
Add light cream
Blend with hand immersion blender or regular blender until smooth and velvety!
Chop the green onion, white and some of the green part into small bits
Add to soup
Season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Serve and top with lovage leaves for garnish
Velvety Love Soup!
What is Lovage?
Lovage is a tall perennial plant that grows between 6-8 feet. It is the sole species of the genus Levistcum. The leaves and stems are shiny green to yellow-green and smell a bit like celery when crushed. It has a pleasant spicy smell. The leaves are used to make soup and season broths, or in salads. The seeds are used in the same way as fennel seeds. It has a long history of culinary use in Europe going back to the Roman Empire.
You may not know about lovage, as it's not that well-known, but it has several culinary and medicinal properties. In the Netherlands, lovage leaves are cooked with asparagus and salt. In Ukraine, lovage is considered an aphrodisiac. Women traditionally prepared a lovage rinse for their hair in order to attract men.
Medicinally, lovage has been known for its anti-inflammatory properties and reducing pain associated with urinary tract infections. Lovage is also used for indigestion, heartburn, and for respiratory problems. It contains quercetin, which may help those with allergies.
Lovage is a beautiful and delicious herb. Try to use the young fresh leaves for best results, before it bolts.