Lovage (Levisticum officinale) – if you don’t have it in your herb garden – plant it. Pretty saucy statement I know, but lovage is truly a Bijouxs. It is a large, vigorous (perennial) herb with celery-like leaves that harbor an intense celery-ansie flavor. Uses? Endless – think celery squared.
One way in which I like to use lovage is in this delicate, and fresh soup from Fifteen Minutes Meals. I have intensified the celery flavor with my addition of fresh lovage.
The soup is quick, made with the usual on hand ingredients – chicken stock, celery, and a handful of almonds. Simply poach the celery (and the lovage if using) in the chicken stock, blend with the almonds and there is it is; a beautiful, pale green soup with delicate white swirls of creaminess produced all in thanks to the almonds. I have served this soup over the years as a light starter, and you can make it ahead.
The star of course here is the lovage, all leafy and vigorous. The fresh aromatic celery scent clings to your fingers from the time you gather it from the garden. Don’t miss the step of breaking the celery and removing the strings – that’s a simple little Bijouxs Basics you can to use all the time to reduce the stringy character of celery.
As an Anyday Bijouxs soup, I enjoy Celery, Lovage and Almond Soup with a salad, and then freeze the rest to have on hand when I need a warm, yet light, meal after a long day. This soup is reminiscent of a “cream of celery” soup, a comforting addition to any meal.
As a note, sometimes I will include some plain steamed white rice to the soup, added just before serving. If you do, use more broth or less celery when preparing the soup so it is a bit less creamy to help accommodate the rice.
Celery, Lovage and Almond Soup – simply Bijouxs.
As always, enjoy. B