Thursday, 22 May 2014

lettuce and lovage soup :: recipe

At this time of year there's a delicious garden herb- lovage- growing merrily in a pot at our back door. Its leaves look like large flat leaf parsley and it tastes unusual - a little like celery, pepper and parsley combined. The leaves can be added to salads or used in stuffing, or torn and popped into a chicken's cavity before roasting. It also makes a great summer soup when cooked with lettuce. I've adapted the recipe from Sarah Raven's Garden Cookbook - it's extremely quick to make and would be just perfect for a little al fresco dining...

4-5 Little Gem or other small lettuces
handful of young lovage leaves
30g butter
4 spring onions, chopped
600ml vegetable or chicken stock
400ml milk
freshly grated nutmeg
salt and pepper
75ml cream

Melt the butter in a large saucepan. Add the spring onions and the lettuce and lovage leaves and wilt them down over a moderate heat. Don't brown the greens. Pour over the stock and milk, adding the nutmeg, pepper and salt to taste. Let this cook until all is tender (a matter of minutes) then liquidise until smooth. When the soup has cooled a little stir through the cream to add richness.

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