Lovage, lettuce, pea and cucumber soup

A refreshing and pretty summer soup. Serves four. From

20g butter
1 onion, finely diced
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves, chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
A few young lovage stalks, chopped
700ml chicken or vegetable stock
2 little gem lettuces, finely shredded
100g peas
½ cucumber, cut into 5mm dice
1 small handful lovage leaves, shredded
A few tablespoons of crème fraîche or thick yoghurt, to finish

Warm the butter in a large saucepan over a medium-low heat. Add the onion, thyme and a pinch of salt, and sauté until the onion is soft and translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the lovage stalks and sauté for a couple of minutes. Pour in the stock and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the rest of the veg (keep back some lovage leaves to garnish) and simmer for five minutes. Season and serve with dollops of crème fraîche and a scattering of lovage leaves.


Strawberry Knotweed Pie


Here’s one to try this spring!

This recipe is adapted from Wild Plants I Have Knownand Eaten by Russ Cohen. Young, spring Japanese knotweed tastes similar to rhubarb, and makes a perfect partner with seasonal fresh strawberries in this beautiful pie. Knotweed first appears in April, and by May the young stalks of 1 to 2 feet high are ready to harvest by cutting just about the woody base and removing the leaves. This is a recipe for a two-crusted pie, but we’ve also made it using only a top crust and that works nicely as well.

Makes a 9-inch pie

• 3-plus cups sliced strawberries

• 3-plus cups peeled, sliced Japanese knotweed stalks (cut stalks in half lengthwise to reduce any trapped air space inside, and then in 3/4- to 1-inch pieces, as you would cut rhubarb)

• 1 cup sugar

• 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

• 1 teaspoon cinnamon

• 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

• Flour, as needed for filling and rolling

• Dough for crust, recipe follows

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Mix the filling ingredients together in a bowl; if runny juice accumulates in the bowl, stir a tablespoon or so of flour into the filling to help absorb it.

2. Spread out one ball of dough with the base of your hand, then use a rolling pin to roll it out to approximately 1/8-inch thick, adding flour to the pin, counter, and/or dough if they get sticky – or roll the dough between 2 sheets of wax or parchment paper dusted with flour. Place in the pie plate. Pour filling into the pie plate. Repeat the process with the second ball of dough and cover filling (or cut into 1/2-inch strips and place over filling in a lattice pattern).

3. Place on a cookie sheet and bake for 20 minutes at 425 degrees, then 25 minutes more at 400 degrees. The pie is done when the filling bubbles over and the crust is golden. If the pie crust is getting too brown in one or two places before the rest is done, place a small piece of aluminum foil over that spot to slow the browning.

DOUGH FOR CRUST (To fit a 9-inch pie plate)

• 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour

• Pinch of salt

• 5 tablespoons cold butter

• 5 tablespoons vegetable shortening or lard (or all butter, if preferred)

• 7 tablespoons cold apple or orange juice

1. Pour flour and salt into a food processor. Dice butter into small pieces and cut shortening into big pieces and add to processor, and pulse until coarsely chopped (small lumps are okay). Add cold juice and pulse until it begins to ball up.

2. Shape into two balls, wrap in wax paper or plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 to 60 minutes.


Sorrel Soup Recipe from Mother Earth News –

Sorrel Soup (Schav) is a traditional Russian-Eastern European soup of sorrel and potato that is refreshing served cold, and heartening served hot.


2 fistfuls sorrel leaves, about 3 cups, washed and spun dry 
2 tbsp butter
1/2 large sweet onion, chopped
5 to 6 small fingerling or new potatoes, cut into chunks
2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 egg, lightly beaten
Salt and pepper, to taste

Garnish: Sour cream or thick yogurt for hot or cold soup and finely chopped cucumber and radish for cold soup


Stack the sorrel leaves and cut into ribbons. Set aside. In a large, heavy saucepan with a tight-fitting lid, heat the butter over medium heat. When the butter has melted, add the onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is well-browned, about 20 minutes. Add the sorrel, potatoes and broth. If the broth does not cover the contents, add a little water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and cook until potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. When the potatoes are done, transfer half of the mixture to a blender or food processor (blenders give smoother results). Process carefully until the mixture is puréed and smooth. Repeat with remaining soup. Return the soup to the saucepan over low heat. Temper the egg by whisking it with about one-quarter cup of soup, then pour the egg mixture into the pan. Cook, whisking constantly, until the soup thickens, about 5 minutes. Do not boil.

If serving hot, garnish each portion with sour cream or yogurt. If serving cold, cover the soup tightly and refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving. Garnish with sour cream or yogurt and chopped cucumber and radish.

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Sauteed Swiss Chard! 

This is another one of Garfield Farm’s favorite things to grow! In 2012 we discovered a new type of chard called Perpetual Spinach. It yielded beautiful leaves from April through, well, it February now and I could go harvest some today! Here’s a really simple recipe from Epicurious.

  • 3 pound green Swiss chard (about 2 large bunches)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 medium onions, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

Cut stems and center ribs from chard, discarding any tough portions, then cut stems and ribs crosswise into 2-inch pieces. Stack chard leaves and roll up lengthwise into cylinders. Cut cylinders crosswise to make 1-inch-wide strips.

Heat oil and butter in a large heavy pot over medium heat until foam subsides, then cook onions and garlic with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, covered, stirring occasionally, until onions begin to soften, about 8 minutes. Add chard stems and ribs, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until stems are just tender, about 10 minutes. Add chard leaves in batches, stirring until wilted before adding next batch, and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until tender, 4 to 6 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a serving bowl.
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