I have released four recipe books so far:

The Best of the Sunny Raw Kitchen
The Best of Raw Freedom Community
Delightfully Raw and
Deliciously Raw

These feature some of the most delectable creations to have come out of my raw kitchen and will appeal to anyone interested in a healthier diet, regardless of their level of knowledge and experience. From easy one-step everyday fare to more elaborate and involved gourmet dishes and layered cakes, they offer something for everyone and every occasion. Incredibly tasty smoothies, creamy and comforting warm soups, sexy salads, delicious nut cheezes, satisfying entrees and scrumptious guilt-free desserts...

Healthy food never tasted so good!

To learn more about my recipe books, click here!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Loving That Lovage

I gotta admit it; it's been a rather crappy May, with lots of rain and not much warmth. People have been saying that we're about a month behind. But now that it's gorgeous and sunny, well, this doesn't seem to have been such a bad thing after all, as everything is so green and lush! What a welcomed sight after the bleak winter months.

For many a green thumb (or not so green, like mine! lol), Spring means it's time to grab your tools and start playing in the garden. I've been yearning for one of my own ever since I got into raw in 2001, but the circumstances were never quite right: the soil wasn't very fertile, not enough sun, or the time/energy just plain wasn't there. This is the first time I'm being presented with an earnest opportunity to garden; there's lots of beds already in place, an amazing southern exposure, and our landlord Nicolo has pretty much given me the green light to plant whatever I want. Hee-hah

There's only one hitch... We don't know how long we'll be able to stay here! Ah well, that still didn't stop me from planting a few things anyways; mostly greens (lettuce, mesclun, spinach, arugula, chard and kale) and some peas. There were a bunch of lettuces already happening in one of the beds (along with tons of weeds) so Don and I uprooted the whole thing one afternoon and replanted the good stuff.

Coming along, coming along...

I also picked up a few cherry tomatoes, basil and zucchini plants at the farmer's market, which we replanted into bigger pots. I've been waiting for the temperature to warm up a little before putting them in.

See the teeny zucchini growing on this one?

In the 12 years that Nicolo's had the property, he has planted lots of fruit trees; mostly apple, but also pear and even kiwi!

There's several varieties of berries, and medicinal plants and herbs growing around: comfrey, mint, thyme, oregano, rosemary, chives, dill, 2 types of parsley, mullein, nettle, and many more which I don't know the names of. Some parsley seeds have actually traveled all the way next to the porch, so I just have to walk out the door to pick fresh parsley! (If you look closely, you can sorta see it to the left in the zucchini picture above.)

And there's of course plenty of lovage!

I remember seeing it listed as one of the ingredients in herbal seasonings, but had never actually tried it on its own. It has a flavor very reminiscent of celery and the best part is that it's perennial and grows like weed! Someone who uses it a lot told me that it can be frozen in ziplock bags to be used all winter long, as with most herbs.

One of the two gigantic lovage bushes on the land.

And here's a close up so you can see what it looks like.

I haven't had a chance to experiment much with lovage yet, but have been enjoying it lately in this delicious variation of one of my all time favorite soups. Absolutely lovely! (No pun intended, of course!)

Creamy Zucchini and Lovage Soup

Serves 2

1/2 avocado
1 1/2 cups zucchini, peeled and cubed
1/2 cup cucumber (or roughly a 2" piece)
1 garlic clove
1/4 cup parsley
1 tbs packed fresh lovage
1 tsp miso
Salt to taste
2 cups water (or until desired consistency is reached)

Blend all ingredients until smooth and creamy in high-speed blender.

Serve topped with freshly ground black pepper.

Carmella's Notes:
~ Don and I don't like cold soups so we used to warm them up gently on the stove, stirring constantly until lukewarm. However, since our days at Ashinah where there was no stove, we've taken to using hot water instead. It requires a bit of getting used to (I sometimes need to add a bit of cold water as well) as you don't want to cook those precious enzymes, but once you get the hang of it, it's so much quicker!

~ Dunno if I've mentioned it before, but as a rule, we prefer to add dried seaweed to our soup bowls at the end, rather than use salt. That's what's sorta peaking through the crushed pepper in the photos.



  1. A lovely soup! I can't wait to try it -- is there a substitute for lovage?

  2. Hi Carmella,

    Been loving your soup recipes. I don't heat them up but they still taste AWESOME.

  3. Gena,
    I bet a celery stalk would do the thing!

    Thanks astrorainfall! Glad to know there's another raw soup lover out there. I think I could live on this stuff. lol ;-)

  4. Your Garden looks amazing. That soup looks great also. The bowl the soup is in, is awesome. Did you make it?

  5. Thanks HayMarket8.

    I know... I really scored on 4 of those wooden bowls at the thrift store. The gems you can find sometimes... ;-)

  6. This is really good! I made this a few nights ago with a few sparkly sprinkles of celtic sea salt :)!

    Thank you

  7. Its a very lovely and a very yummy soup. Keep up the good work.

  8. Lovage is just the best and by far my favourite herb. I use it all the time and it adds great flavour to soups, stews and gravey. Any recipe with celery i substitute with loveage and i dry it for use in the winter. Grow and use lovage and ditch the shop bought celery!!!