I grew up in an herbless household. Except for crème de menthe in our liquor cabinet and lavender sachets in my mother’s dresser drawers, I never encountered any herbs. I didn’t realize that parsley was an edible garnish until I was a young teenager! And I was grown before I realized that herbs could be an easy, effective way to banish the blands when cooking.
My first inkling of their culinary power came when I tried a
baked potato with sour cream and chives in a restaurant. The bursts of clean,
vibrant, refined onion flavor from the little flecks wowed me—and still do! The
second revelation occurred when my family dropped in on a cousin making dill
pickles. I suddenly understood that those feathery dillweed sprigs (note the bottom left of the pic above at right) were
actually responsible for the fresh, cleansing aroma I’d somehow thought came
from the cucumbers themselves!
Do not even think about using dried herbs here, and be as generous with the fresh ones as your supply allows. The soup calls for “handfuls” of herbs; if
you’re relying on ones from the grocery store instead of the garden or
farmers’ market, you’ll need at least a 2- to 3-ounce packet. Those
added to the broth should not be chopped first, so they can be readily
fished out with a fork later.
Herbed yogurt garnish: Stir together the yogurt, 2 tablespoons finely chopped dillweed, and 1 tablespoon finely chopped chives in a small bowl. Taste and add salt as desired. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours (so the herbs can infuse the yogurt) and up to 48 hours, if desired. Makes 1 quart soup, 6 to 8 servings.
Another herbed soup (left below) you might enjoy: Cream of Green Herb-Potato Soup. Or go in another directions (below right) with Pumpkin-Tomato Bisque. To try a main dish recipe featuring dillweed, check out my meal-in-a-bowl fresh salmon chowder. But serve these warm.