Thursday, June 12, 2014

Herbs and Mizuna Soup

Yesterday I went out in the morning to pick yet more herbs. Monday I dried oregano. Tuesday it was thyme. And yesterday, Wednesday, It was some cilantro, lavender, and tarragon. Let me tell you that tarragon and cilantro don't smell very good mixed. But I had to get the lavender and tarragon dried. So I washed them off and put them in the dehydrator.

The cilantro needed to be separated. The bolting cilantro really isn't all that good especially the ferny leaves and I was freezing for the winter. I ended up with about a quarter of the cilantro good for freezing. I don't do anything but wash it and stick it in a zipper bag. I'll break bits off when I need it. It won't look pretty as cilantro turns blackish when it thaws, but the flavor is still there. So it is good in sauces and soups.

It was a lovely day so I spent a little time in the morning doing some work. The early corn was hilled up a bit. It is getting big. Or some of it is. A few are pretty runty. And I weeded a big patch of weeds off a path I've neglected for weeks. That took me a while. Then I finally decided I had to spray. All the trees along the fence were infested with aphids. The one plum tree had some ladybug larvae on it but none of the others. And my fava beans were covered with black aphids. I think next year I'll need some more insecticidal soap mix. I also added in some fish emulsion to help them heal up. I'll probably have to do it again in a couple of weeks. The ants there are too industrious.

No one has responded to my call for extra food. So I decided since it was cool today I could deal with making soup out of the mizuna. Soup is always a great way to preserve greens. I found a recipe on a Longmont blog (not far from where I grew up). I didn't really follow the recipe but I did use some of the spicing - bay leaf, thyme, sherry, and salt.

In addition I used homemade chicken stock, my garlic, and about a pound and a half of mizuna that no one wanted. So sad. How can people not want such a wonderful green. From the store I used an onion and some celery. I did the typical. Oil, onion, celery, saute. Add the broth and seasonings. Simmer for about half an hour then remove the bay leaf. Wash and chop the mizuna.

When I saw the pile of chopped greens I thought, "Oh my God this won't fit into the pot. There is just too much." But I realized that it is a green and they really cook down a LOT. I tossed in a couple of handfuls of mizuna and stirred. And again. And again.

Yes it fit just fine. I boiled it for three minutes then used my trusty stick blender to turn it to mush.

Yum. Soup for lunch and four servings for the winter. Now I just have a pile of bok choy that no one wanted. Hmm I wonder if my townhouse mates will deal with it for me.


  1. Great recipe, Daphne. I keep a little file on the computer where I put down different ideas on using fresh veg from the garden. Well, I haven't grown (or even tasted) mizuna yet, but I love greens and I love soup, so I've added your recipe to the file - all ready for next year when I (hopefully) can find space in my beds to grow some. I just added a bunch of beds & I'm already thinking I don't have enough space for all the new things I want to grow...

  2. The soup looks delicious, I flipped through a "green drink" cookbook recently and found some of the recipes use leafy greens and herbs from the garden plus various fruits to make drinks or smoothies. I haven't tried any of the recipes yet, maybe later when I'm in the mood to drink "green".

  3. Well, this post answers very nicely the question I posed yesterday. Thanks. I'm trying hard not to think of blackish frozen Cilantro though, since I'm allergic to the stuff!

  4. I would love to respond to your call for extra food had I live close by. I would love to weed in exchange for fresh veggies.

  5. The soup sounds delicious. I had lot of green aphids on my black currants last month but blew them away with my garden hose. Luckily they are gone now but have moved over to beach plum. I'll have to give those a powerful spray too. I now also have black aphids on my fava beans. In the past, I've just used regular dishwashing liquid diluted in water and it killed them just the same.

  6. Thank you! Something to do with overabundance of mizuna. It's wonderful but... I kind of spilled the seed packet, so I have a lot of it and it's starting to bolt.

  7. Such a lovely green soup! I love to make soup with Asian greens. It's so quick and easy to make, and tasty. It's gotten too warm here lately for me to think about soup though.