In my garden, lovage is the first edible green to appear.
Well, not counting the dandelions and stinging nettles.
What is Lovage?
Lovage belongs to the parsley family, and its seeds, leaves, and roots are commonly used in Europe for flavoring foods and beverages and for their medicinal properties. The Romans, who introduced lovage to Europe, used it widely in their cooking as well as to reduce fevers and treat stomach ailments. Germans called it maggikraut because its aroma reminded them of maggi cubes (meaty yeast extracts). Today it is popular in South and Central European cuisines. Learn more about Lovage by clicking here.
It’s a perennial that grows to well over 6 feet tall in my garden. The only care I give it is water and weeding.
While the leaves are still young and tender I make a fermented pesto using the same recipe as my cilantro pesto.
I just substitute the lovage for the cilantro. It’s delicious spooned over tomato halves grilled on the BBQ.
Yesterday I made Lovage and Potato soup, and it’s delicious!
It’s a simple combination of onions, garlic, potatoes, lovage and chicken stock along with a bit of seasoning. I searched the internet for recipe ideas, and many of them required a “bunch” of lovage.
My “bunch” is 6 leafy stems about 12 inches long.
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 3 medium potatoes, peeled and cut up into 1/8ths
- 2 quarts or liters of chicken stock or broth
- 1 "bunch" of lovage, coarsely chopped (save a few leaves to garnish)
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 teaspoons salt (my broth is unsalted) adjust if needed
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup yogurt, greek yogurt or sour cream
- Saute the onion and garlic in the butter. Use your soup pot, why wash a fry-pan? When they're soft, add the potatoes and chicken broth, salt, pepper and bay leaves.
- Boil gently until the potatoes are almost done, then add the chopped lovage.
- Continue to cook until the potatoes are cooked.
- Remove the bay leaves and add the yogurt.
- Blend carefully until smooth using an immersion blender or a counter top blender.
- Serve with chopped lovage leaves as a garnish.
- I had a few bits of cooked chicken remaining from the broth I made, so I added it after blending.