Saturday, October 19, 2013


“Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others,
faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.”
I Peter 4:10

Today was the October Herb Seminar at Full Moon Natives & Herbs - All About Soup Herbs including some soup related uses of these herbs. Marvette Bagwell and I teamed up to share everything!





This is a list of herbs that would be great in a Soup Herbscape (especially one like Kevin Bagwell’s new spiral herb garden) plus a little information about each:


    • Strong clove-like flavor with overtones of pepper, mint and licorice
    • Flowers and leaves are best used fresh and added only during the last few minutes of cooking soups and sauces


    • Flavor is a blend of balsam and honey, with hints of spice followed by a suggestion of citrus
    • Brings together other flavors, releases its flavor slowly, for long cooking techniques and left whole so it can be retrieved before serving the dish


    • Tastes mildly of licorice combined with pepper somewhat intermediate between parsley and anise – brings out flavor of other herbs
    • Flavor is lost easily, it should be added at the end of cooking or just sprinkled on in its fresh, raw state before serving.


    • Delicate oniony flavor/delicate garlicky flavor with sweet edible flowers
    • Chives may be used instead of or in addition to onions or scallions without the peeling and tearful chopping especially in tomato & potato soup!


    • A strong, unique flavor that some think tastes like soap
      Tip: Sprinkle a little ground coriander over fresh parsley equal to the amount of cilantro and chop fine. You get a hint of the flavor without the soapy taste.
    • Used fresh, tomatoes and cilantro are a great match - adds a fresh flavor to canned tomatoes


    • Dill weed has a flavor mixture of anise, parsley and celery
    • It is best to use the leaves fresh rather than dried for the most flavor and add at the last minute when cooking as heat diminishes the flavor


    • Sweet and spicy taste and aroma is very versatile & often is unnoticed or unidentified "mystery ingredient"
    • It has an affinity with beans, but is also excellent with other vegetables especially corn and is best added towards the end of cooking or an additional bit more is added before serving to reinforce the flavor.


    • Spicy fragrance and a hot, sharp peppery flavor with a hint of clove and balsam
    • It should be used in small amounts at first, with more added if the dish demands more "zip" near the end of cooking, to preserve all the aromatic oils.


    • Parsley (flat leaf)has a faint peppery tang which can be added to most any dish, but to retain its flavor, chop and add to hot foods at the last minute
    • Parsley lessens the need for salt in soups, adds color and thus visual appeal, compliments the flavor of other herbs, lightens the taste of garlic


    • Strong piney, mint-like flavor with a hint of ginger - a smidgen of rosemary may be all you need with foods rich in fats like meats or with otherwise bland foods such as potatoes
    • Added to the dish at the beginning  for soups with beans, peas or mushrooms


    • Pungent, lemony flavor that enhances many foods, excellent for salt-free cooking
    • A great addition to chicken soup and to make rich foods more digestible


    • Known as the bean herb or the pepper herb, a mildly spicy flavor
    • Useful for those on a salt-restricted diet because the leaves have a robust flavor that is a salt and pepper  alternative


    • Mint of choice for flavoring food with its mild, sweet, clean, refreshing taste 
    • Complements savory soups, particularly good with peas, potatoes, carrots, cucumbers and tomatoes, as well as fruit soups


    • A flavor that mixes a licorice/anise type of taste with that of a peppery flavor used in place of salt for people on salt-restricted diets
    • Essential for chicken soup it is best to add it at the end, as heat tends to decrease its flavor.


    • Pleasantly hot bite tempered by a savory-sweet note for soups and a good substitute for salt
    • Tie in a bundle on stems and then remove when cooked, especially good in chowders

For more information see earlier posts on Soup Herbs and Soup Herbscapes.

Marvette demonstrated several recipes from my Soup Herbs booklet

2c milk
1-15oz can roasted diced tomatoes
1-8oz cream cheese
1/4c chopped basil
1/2tsp salt
1/8tsp pepper
            Place all ingredients in food processor and process until smooth.  Bring to boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 5 minutes.  Serve garnished with additional fresh basil.

1lb mild bulk sausage
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, grated
1 celery stalk, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
2 c water or chicken broth
4 red potatoes, cubed
2 cans cream style corn
2pkg frozen whole kernel corn
salt and fresh ground pepper
1Tbs fresh sage leaves
            Brown sausage and drain. Sauté onion in butter until soft, then add carrot, celery and red pepper and cook for 4 or 5 more minutes.  Add water or broth and potatoes, cover and simmer 15 minutes.  Add corn and seasoning, cover and simmer for another 20 minutes.

½ large honeydew, cut into chunks
1/4 c fresh mint leaves
3Tbs freshly-squeezed lime juice
1Tbs honey
            Process the ingredients in batches in a blender or food processor until smooth.  Cover and chill at least 1 hour. Taste and then add additional lime juice and salt if necessary.  Serve in chilled bowls with lime slices and mint sprigs.

Plus additional recipes can be found on their website under Cooking with Herbs


Finally, I demonstrated several soup related uses of herbs:



4 -12” herb sprigs (Rosemary, Thyme, Marjoram, Lemongrass)
2 accent herbs/flowers (Bay Leaf, Parsley & Texas Tarragon blossoms)
            The completed wreath should be about 4-5” in diameter – the perfect size for a pot of soup.  Gather herbs and use rosemary to bend into a 4” loop twisting ends around each other.  Add additional herbs (thyme & marjoram) overlapping the ends of each one until the wreath looks full.  Keep in mind wreath will shrink as it dries. Add lemongrass spiraling like a ribbon to secure and give a finished look.  Tuck in a small bunch of accent herbs.  Tie on ribbon with instructions for use.
NOTE: May be used fresh or dried.  Dry in a dark, dry place before attaching ribbon & instructions.

1tsp parsley
1/2tsp rosemary
1/2tsp thyme
1/2tsp oregano
1 bay leaf
To make a bouquet garni from dried herbs, combine in a muslin bag, piece of cheesecloth or doubled gauze.  Great to add to a small stockpot of soup.
NOTE: To make a fresh bouquet garni just tie the fresh herbs together with string before adding to soup.  REMEMBER – 1Tbs fresh herbs = 1tsp dried


1c rice (strength)                 
1/2c barley (prosperity)
1/2tsp of each:
     marjoram (joy & happiness)
     rosemary (remembrance)
     savory (good interest)
     mint (wisdom)
     sage (long life) 
     thyme (bravery)
2 bay leaves (victory)

Package in a wide mouth quart jar by first adding the rice, then the bay leaves and herbs around the edge and last the barley to fill the jar.  Attach a label with the meaning of each of the herbs and the following instructions:
Bring 2 quarts of water to a boil, stir in the above, cover, reduce heat and simmer for 45 mins. or until all water is absorbed.  Meanwhile, sauté a chopped red & green pepper and onion in butter until semi-soft.  Add 1c half & half & 1 1/2 c vegetable or chicken broth and blend well.  When rice mixture is cooked, remove bay leaves, add broth mixture and simmer on low heat 20 mins., stirring occasionally.  Serve hot.


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