Lovage Soup for Spring

Lovage Soup: one of my favorte soups for spring.

In the spring, our CSA brings us tender greens, young lettuces, small roots and huge bunches of herbs.  As I picked through the farm’s choices of herbs that week: angelica, rose geranium, wormwood and mountain mint, I found myself taken by lovage.  Its clean and almost antiseptic scent and celery-like undertones appealed to me.

Not quite sure what I’d do with it – sure I paired its leaves with lentil soups before – but I wanted to reserve it for something special, a dish where it could shine on its own without simply being a seasoning for something else.  I kept it in a mason jar filled with cold water, as I do all my big bunches of herbs.

Later that week, one of my son’s friends came over to play.  As his mother dropped him off,

she exclaimed, “Is that lovage?”

She detailed her love for the herb, and how it’s supposed to purify the blood (though most herbals indicate lovage is used for digestive issues, and there’s some evidence that lovage – at least its oil – is potently anticarcinogenic).  Before she left, she scrawled a quick recipe for me on a piece of stray paper.  And this is Jill’s recipe for lovage soup (with my addition of green onions as those, too, are plentiful in our CSA this time of year).

the beauty of broth

As I’ve written before, my husband and I try to drink a quart of bone broth each day w

hich means I serve a lot of soups.  Most lunches, and often dinners, are simple in our home: a pot of soup, a hunk of no-knead sourdough bread with raw butter or cheese, a green salad with unrefined olive oil (I get my favorite online) and raw cider vinegar or lemon juice, sliced vegetables with homemade mayonnaise or allioli and cup full of berries and mint (or cream) for dessert.

There’s something uniquely nourishing about soups.  They soothe more than they simply feed.

Prolonged cooking draws minerals like calcium from bones into broth.  Further broth is rich in gelatin – an easy to digest protein – which helps to boost skin health while also soothing the digestive system which makes bone broths particularly important for those undertaking healing protocols like the GAPS diet.

In this lovage soup, I like to use fresh chicken broth, but you can also use roast chicken stock or even the perpetual soup from your slowcooker.

Lovage Soup

Lovage Soup: one of my favorte soups for spring.

By Jenny Published: May 21, 2012

  • Yield: 2 quarts (6 to 8 servings Servings)
  • Prep: 5 mins
  • Cook: 20 mins
  • Ready In: 25 mins

Lovage introduces a clean, herbal flavor to this simple creamy soup. Celery can replace lovage, and be sure to use a good immersion blender to ensure the soup offers a smooth consistency.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 bunch green onions (white and light green parts, chopped)
  • 1 medium yellow onion (peeled and chopped)
  • 2 quarts chicken stock
  • 3 medium Russet potatoes (peeled and chopped)
  • 1 bunch (1 oz) lovage leaves (chopped fine)
  • heavy cream (to serve)

Instructions

  1. Melt the butter in a heavy-bottomed stock pot over medium-high heat. When it froths, reduce the heat to medium and stir in green and yellow onions. Fry until fragrant, about five minutes.
  2. Pour in chicken stock and stir in chopped potatoes. Simmer, covered, about thirty minutes or until potatoes are tender. Stir in lovage and simmer, covered, a further five or six minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and blend with an immersion blender until smooth. Season with unrefined sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Stir in a spoonful of heavy cream and serve.

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What people are saying

  1. Branwen says

    Yes, thank you so much! I have grown lovage in the past. But, aside from drying the leaves and using it to season I didn’t know what else to do with it. I think I’ll see if I can get some at the nursery!

  2. Ginny says

    Oh my heart leapt when I saw this! I had to double take that it was actually LOVAGE! Thank you for posting this and acknowledging lovage. It’s such a romantic old herb. I’ve heard that it used to be used to make healing tonics – have you heard the same? We certainly didn’t know what we were getting into when we put the little bitty herb in the garden 3 years ago. Now, it grows huge stalks that are bamboo-like and taller than me. I’d love more ideas for what to do with it if you come across them. Thank you for all you offer on your site!

  3. Connie says

    I’m curious as to what a “bunch” of lovage looks like and if you are using the stalks to or just the leaves. I have a plant and my bunch could be completely different from someone else’s bunch and that does really effect the end product.

  4. Sarah Juliusson says

    Yay!!!! Had no idea what that crazy tall plant in my herb spiral was until a few days ago – also thanks to a friend who identified it enthusiastically. it’s rather overshadowing every other herb in the bed… Thank you :)

  5. says

    I was so excited to read this recipe–my lovage plant is doing quite well this year. Other than adding some chopped leaves to potato salad, I was quite sure what to do with the plant. Thank you!

  6. Lauren says

    If I can’t find lovage and have a ton of celery from my CSA that wants using, do I use the whole celery or just the leaves or not the leaves? Thanks!

  7. says

    Lovage is the one thing in my garden right now that is ready to eat and this looks like a beautiful way to use it! Thanks so much for sharing the recipe!

  8. Angela Berkfield says

    Thanks so much for the recipe – I had all of the ingredients so I made it that night (I love when that happens!). I will definitely make it again. My husband also added raw cider vinegar at the end, which is his favorite way to eat soup.

  9. says

    Thanks for the article, I use it in salad sauce but this soup looks perfect usage for the plant I have in the garden. We didn’t know the name, in french it is called livèche and Levisticum officinale in latin. Thanks.

  10. Gaylin says

    Thanks so much for this reminder of how I can use my lovage. I’ve been thinking about doing some cleanup this spring and I have a fresh pot of broth ready to go. Did you know you can candy the stems too? It’s a great way to use up the larger stems that may end up being too tough for much else.

  11. Mihaela says

    it’s best in sour soups, accompanied by fresh dill. to make the soup sour, you throw in sauerkraut juice at the end (previously warmed up), let it boil another 5 minutes, then take it off the burner, and throw in chopped lovage and dill, cover and let rest.

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