Herb Very Seldom Used In Australia
The Lovage and its characteristics
Lovage is a herb that can be added to soups, salads, stews and stuffing. It is well known in Europe, but little use of it in Australia. The herb looks a little like the celery leaf, tastes as celery, but slightly different. The leaves can be used fresh, dry or frozen.
This fresh green herb can be used for natural remedies, in alternative medicine and cooking.
Lovage is a perennial herb. It grows well in April and May and it vanishes in the winter. It will grow again as soon as the winter is over.
History of Lovage
The Lovage is also known as Levisticum Officinale.
Some believe that Lovage is originated from Europe and southwestern Asia. Others think that its origin is from the eastern Mediterranean region. The fact is that Lovage was used especially in the southern European cuisine for a long time.
Lovage grows in home gardens, meadows and hedgerows. It can be grown in larger pots as well.
Uses of Lovage
Lovage is mainly used as a diuretic, which encourages urine flow. The increased urine flow helps to flush the kidneys and thus is beneficial in eliminating kidney stones.
Lovage is considered an agent that strengthens and improves stomach function. It also helps to improve the appetite and relieve indigestion.
Lovage excites perspiration and sweating. This action helps to cool the body down and relieve fevers. The increased perspiration also helps to clear the body of toxins through the skin.
Lovage can treat skin problems, used as a gargle in treating sore throat and even treat mouth cancer.
Lovage is used as a herb and a vegetable. The fresh leaves are used in soups, stews and salads. The root is used either raw, pickled, preserved in honey or cooked. You can make an infusion from the root and drink it.The root is also dried, ground and the product used like salt. The seeds are used in the baking of bread and sweet pastries.
Lentils can be cooked with chopped lovage. Lovage is also used for making delicious pesto. Copped leaves can be mixed with cream cheese and this mixture can be used in stuffing chicken breasts. Salmon fish and lovage go really well together. The chopped leaves are used in pizza topping too.
The flowers of lovage are both pretty and edible and can be used to decorate pastries, cakes and desserts.
Lovage and Potato Soup Recipe
Yield: 4-6 servings
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
- 1 spoon butter
- 3 cups chicken stock
- 1 onion
- 1 bunch lovage leaves
- sour cream
- Melt the butter
- Reduce heat
- Add the chopped onion
- Fry for 3-4 minutes
- Add the chicken stock and the potatoes
- Simmer until the potatoes are tender (approximately 25-35 minutes)
- Add the chopped lovage leave and simmer for another 4-5 minutes
- Remove from stove and blend it smooth
- Add salt and pepper
- Add sour cream to taste