Friday, October 17, 2008

If You Grow Only One Herb, Make it Parsley!

My mother always made me eat my parsley garnish when we would go out for dinner. She was right, it is rich in vitamins A, C and magnesium. This is one curly parsley (Petroselium crispum var. crispum) that has grown well in the herb garden. I love using it as a hedge in a garden. Although as it is a biennial, it goes to seed the following year. I really use it as an annual. I always have several Italian flat-leaf parsleys (Petroselium crispum var. neapolitanum) in different spots in my garden. Actually some were seeds we brought back from Peru. I brought some curly parsley in and placed it in plastic containers for the freezer. I have also placed it in plastic bags. I think the containers work a little better. Parsley does stand up to a light frost. I know some cover theirs with a basket and continue to harvest it from the garden until a killing frost comes. Here is a picture of the Italian (by way of Peru) flat-leaf parsley in bloom. An excellent larval food for the swallowtail butterflies. Here is a favorite soup recipe from a favorite herb farm of mine, Buffalo Springs Herb Farm. Sadly they are no longer in business. It is a very easy and delicious soup to make and is always doubled in our house.


Parsley Dill Soup

1 large onion, chopped or thinly sliced
2 large carrots, scrubbed, sliced thin
4-6 tablespoons, butter
1 large potato, scrubbed, peeled, sliced thin
4 cups stock (vegetable or chicken) heated
1 cup fresh Italian parsley (frozen works
just fine)
1/2 teaspoon of dill seed
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Combine onion, carrot, butter and potato in covered saucepan and stew for about 10 minutes, add dill seed.
Add stock and simmer for another 30 minutes.
Cool slightly. Add parsley and puree in blender.
Reheat and add salt and pepper to taste.
Serve with parsley and/or fresh dill garnish
Serves 4.

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