Saturday, May 14, 2011

Roasted Asparagus Soup with Lovage and Dill

When we moved to this house 31 years ago, the backyard was a flatland save for two sticks that called themselves trees, a three foot lilac bush and a small 4 x 10 empty garden plot.  My Dad, an avid gardener, came over armed with cuttings from his herb garden - thyme, sage, chives, garlic chives, oregano and lovage.  he told me that the lovage would give me years of wonderful celery flavor for soups and stews and would grow like a bush every year.  Well, 31 years later, the two sticks are over 50 feet tall, the lilac is huge and the lovage comes back every year.

1 Tbl olive oil
3/4 pound green asparagus, trimmed
3/4 pound white asparagus, trimmed
3 Tbl butter
1/2 cup thinly sliced shallot
1 1/2 cups peeled and diced new potatoes
6 cups chicken broth
3 Tbl chopped lovage ( or celery leaves if you can't get lovage)
1/2 cup chopped fresh dill
1 Tbl dried dill weed
salt and white pepper to taste
sour cream for garnish (optional)

Rub the asparagus with the olive oil and roast in a 400F oven for 20 minutes. Let cool a bit and then cut into 2 inch pieces.
Sweat the shallots in the 3 Tbl butter until soft.
Stir in the potatoes and lovage and add the broth.  
Bring to a boil and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 8 minutes.
Remove from the heat and stir in the fresh and dried dill and the asparagus.
Process in a food processor or blender in batches, until smooth.
Reheat and season to taste with the salt and white pepper.  Garnish each serving with a dollop of sour cream if desired.
NOTE: This soup is also good served cold. 


  1. My neighbor Scott was out planting in their herb garden today. I went over to talk to him and he was telling me how excited they were to see this recipe. They have Lovage and didn't know what to do with it. Infact they were thinking of pulling it out. Now they will be trying this soup.
    What else do you use it in? I told him I thought anything you would use celery in and didn't necessarily want the crunch would work.

  2. Anything you'd put celery in is right...I actually think I read that celery seed is really lovage seed...more potent than celery..I don't use it much but sometimes throw a little in salads and soups of course. ( We probably have kept if for nostalgia reasons...and the fact that it hides the rusty electric box out