The lovage at our house is almost as high as an elephant’s eye! Okay, maybe not. But it’s almost as high as MY eye! Which means that while it was quite delicately flavored a few weeks ago, and very appropriate for salads, now its strong celery taste is making it a better choice for stir fries and soups.
Lovage is super easy to grow. Find a nice little spot where it gets some morning sun and has room to spread out, because, in the years to come, you can be sure that it will do exactly that. Especially if your children (or your friends’ children) make a habit of whooping it up and shaking the seeds all around, in which case there will be plenty, more than plenty actually, to go around. This is all good, of course. You’ll be glad to have it because you’re going to share it with your friends and use it to make a delicious soup.
• 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
• 1 large red onion, chopped fine
• 2 cloves garlic, minced
• 1 pound baby spinach, washed
• 1 pound watercress, washed
• ¼ pound fresh lovage, washed
• 4 cups vegetable stock
• 1 large potato, peeled and diced small
• 1 tsp. each salt and fresh black pepper, more to taste
1) Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan, sauté the onion for five minutes, and add the garlic. Cook 2 minutes more.
2) Add greens and stir.
3) Add vegetable stock and diced potato. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook until the potato is soft but not disintegrating.
4) Remove 2 cups of soup with some bits of potato and set aside. With a stick blender, blend the remaining soup until smooth. Then return the 2 cups of set-aside soup to the pot. Add salt and pepper, stir and serve.
5) Garnish with any combination of these:
a. a few thin slices of radish or carrot,
b. a spoonful of yogurt or creme fraiche,
c. pumpernickel croutons,
d. a sprinkle of parmigiana cheese.
e. Or let your imagination run wild!
Serves 4, and it’s delicious hot or cold.