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Herbs - Storing Tips

Herb Oils & Vinegars

Herb Butters & Mayo

Herb Salsa & Pesto

Herb Sugars & Syrups

Herb Soups

Herb Cakes & Biscuits




Spinach etc.

Herb Soups

Every soup will benefit from the addition of herbs, either to enhance the flavour of the ingredients during cooking or to provide contrast of colour and texture as a garnish. Some soups can be made with herbs as a principal ingredient and they make an unusual and fresh-tasting dish.

Sorrel Soup
Choose the younger leaves of sorrel before they become dark and tough looking. For a constant supply of these, cut back all the growth once the flowering stems appear and water with a weak liquid feed like seaweed. Fresh leaves will quickly regrow.

a big handful of sorrel leaves, about 150g
outside leaves of a lettuce
1 tablespoon butter
1 small onion
1 litre light stock (eg chicken)
salt and pepper
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon cream
Chervil leaves for garnish

Wash the sorrel and lettuce leaves and remove any large stalks. Melt the butter in a heavy bottomed pan, chop the onion and add to the pan, let it soften. Then add the leaves, stir to coat with butter and cook gently, stirring from time to time until they collapse. Pour in the stock, season with salt and ground black pepper, bring to a gentle boil and simmer for about 30 minutes until the leaves are tender. Then put through a food mill or liquidise.
Return the soup to the pan and put over a low heat. Gently whisk the egg yolk and cream and pour into the hot, but not boiling, soup stirring all the time until the soup has thickened a little. do not let it boil or you will end up with scrambled egg. If disaster does strike you can liquidise it again.
Serve hot with a sprinkling of finely chopped chervil leaves on top.

Lovage and Potato Soup
Lovage leaves grow in short branches off the main stem. Each of these branches has side shoots with one pair of further side shoots, ending in 3 leaves, and a terminal shoot of 3 leaves. Choose young, undamaged leaves for cooking.
Make this with floury potatoes, waxy ones will give a gluey soup; for a quick dish use left over boiled potatoes or even mash. When in season, substitute a leek for the onion.
1 tablespoon butter
1 medium onion or leek
500g floury potatoes
1 litre mild flavoured stock
10 sets of the 3 leaf clusters
salt and black pepper
Chives to garnish
Melt the butter in a pan, finely chop the onion or leek ( you can include some of the green part) and cook gently in the butter until softened. Add the raw potatoes and cook gently until the edges begin to go transparent. If using cooked potatoes add them with the stock. Pour in the stock and roughly chop the lovage leaves before adding. Season cautiously, especially if you are using left over potato.
Simmer for 30 minutes if using raw potato, 15-20 minutes if using cooked. Liquidise or put through a food mill; taste and add more salt and pepper if you wish. Serve hot with a scattering of finely chopped chives.

Fennel and Tomato Soup
This is a cold, uncooked soup that is tangily refreshing on a hot day.
500g tomatoes
3 rounded teaspoons chopped fennel
1 level teaspoon chopped fresh ginger
3 tablespoons herb oil (thyme or basil)
100 ml light stock
1 tablespoon thick yoghurt
Put all the ingredients into a food processor or liquidiser and blend until smooth. Taste and add salt. For a really smooth finish pour through a sieve to get rid of the bits of tomato skin and seeds.