Last week there was a fellowship dinner at church and I didn't really want to stress too much with the preparation, because we had a lot planned to coordinate. Quarta returned from Mexico very early Sunday morning (and with a knee injury which we didn't know about until then), Steve was going to need to pick up Steve's mom and take her and Quarta in one car to the service only while Tertia and I went earlier for Sunday school. Anyway, this soup fit the bill.
If you haven't tried lovage, it's an herb that is in the celery/parsley family, is an easy to grow perennial, and is abundant this time of year. It's a strong flavor, kind of like celery on steroids... a little bitter even, but it mellows with cooking. It is growing very well in our garden at the moment, and was used quite a bit by the ancient Romans - so it has that historical appeal going for it as well. Anyway, this soup turned out very well and I'm only sad there were no leftovers.
1 large onion, chopped
Saute in about 3 T butter or olive oil, or a mix of both. Add
1-2 stalks celery, chopped
2 stalks fresh lovage with leaves, chopped finely
2 sprigs rosemary, leaves removed from stems and finely chopped (about 1 T)
When soft, add
4-6 C water
1 T vegetable soup base
4-5 peeled, diced potatoes
Cook until tender (above picture). Soup can then rest in fridge overnight until ready to finish, or you can transfer it to a crock pot for the rest of the steps.
about 2 C milk
about 1/2 C heavy cream
1-2 handfuls of crumbled bacon bits (Costco sells these in bags, and we always have one in the freezer)
salt and pepper to taste
Cook on low (whether in the crock pot or on the stove) until thoroughly heated but avoid letting it boil. I kept the crock pot on low during Sunday school and turned it to "warm" during the church hour.
I can't decide if it's the lovage or the rosemary, or both, that make this potato soup a cut above the average. Definitely the bacon helps too.