Potato and Lovage Soup
Lovage leaves have an intriguing celery flavour and aroma. Every part of the plant is edible It is in season from sprng to late summer. Most people would have potatoes and onions in the house even if the cupboard was otherwise bare so one could make this simply delicious soup at a moment's notice. While the vegetables are sweating, pop a few white soda scones or cheddar cheese scones into the oven and wow - won't everybody be impressed.
55g (2oz) butter
425g (15oz) peeled diced potatoes, one-third inch dice
110g (4oz) diced onions, one-third inch dice
1 teaspoon salt
freshly ground pepper
1-2 tablespoons freshly chopped Lovage
900ml (1½pints) home-made chicken stock or vegetable stock
120ml (4fl oz) creamy milk
Melt the butter in a heavy saucepan. When it foams, add the potatoes and onions and toss them in the butter until well coated. Sprinkle with salt and a few grinds of pepper. Cover with a butter wrapper or paper lid and the lid of the saucepan. Sweat on a gentle heat for 10 minutes approx. Meanwhile bring the stock to the boil, when the vegetables are soft but not coloured add the freshly chopped lovage and stock and continue to cook until the vegetables are soft. Puree the soup in a blender or food processor. Taste and adjust seasoning. Thin with creamy milk to the required consistency.
Serve sprinkled with a few freshly-chopped lovage leaves.