Spicy carrot-zucchini soup with lovage

A quick soup, full of vegetables with spicy accents. Healthy and full of vitamins. Take it with a slice or two of sourdough bread and with a secret ingredient ...

I have to be honest and recognise that when I was a child I simply hated any additional herbs in my food. With time, this has changed and more specifically when I arrived in Belgium where the supermarket food didn't have the same smell and taste as the one picked from my grandmother's garden. I turned then to herbs to increase the taste and flavor. Step by step, I learned to recognise all herbs and their translation in French. Although not a herb, I remember that in my process of learning the translations in French, the most funny was the celery (root). I was used with a celery full of dirt, no bigger than an apple and with a strong smell. I went several times to the supermarket and couldn't recognise it. I spotted a root vegetable, big as a cabbage, white and very clean and with almost no smell. To be sure, I made a photo and send it to my mother to confirm. I also checked the wiki as I thought maybe it was another specie. But no, it was the Belgian supermarket celery.
Coming back to my herbs identification, there was one that I didn't find it at all. I had its strong smell and taste in my mind but it was impossible to buy it here. One day, a friend brought me a small pot with some little plants. Immediately, I have recognised it and he confirmed that he had brought the seeds from Romania. It was lovage, and this was the herb that I was talking about. I took great care of it, I have planted in the greenhouse but unfortunately, when I have left in a 2 week holiday, the plant has died. Since then, I had in mind to bring this plant from Romania myself. My mother gave me some plants, root included and I have transported back to my house. I planted them in pots and let them in my greenhouse. Now, they are well raised and I had the great pleasure to use them for the first time with a soup. Here they are. Lovage. My secret ingredient for seasoning.

  • 1kg peeled carrots (diced)
  • 2 peeled zucchini (~640g)
  • 3 potatoes
  • 2 celery branches
  • 1 onion (diced)
  • 3 garlic cloves (diced)
  • 2 teaspoon cumin (powder)
  • 1 teaspoons coriander (powder)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika (powder)
  • 3l water
  • salt
  • pepper
  • aromatic herbs (for decoration)
  • lemon juice (to season your plate)

  1. Boil the carrots, zucchini, potatoes,celery onion, garlic for 20 minutes.
  2. Add the cumin, coriander, ginger, paprika, salt and pepper and let them cook for a another 5-10 minutes.
  3. Blend the soup with a hand bender for 5 minutes.
  4. Add lemon juice and lovage (or another aromatic herb like, parsley, coriander, etc) when serving on your plate.

Recipe inspired from 500 soupes - Blake, Susannah, page 175.


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