Sunday, October 5, 2014

Meatless Monday - Borage Soup

We grow borage in the garden as a companion plant for tomatoes. For whatever reason, the leaves of the herb confuse the mother Five-Spotted Hawkmoths, and keep them from laying their eggs on the tomato plants.

Native to the Mediterranean, borage does quite well as an annual in our Zone 5b-6a (we moved into Zone 6 in 2012, though this mild summer makes that hard to believe) and reliably self seeds. In fact, we've only had to sow borage seeds once. Grown for culinary and medicinal purposes, I've only ever used it to make soup although it is sometimes used in salads and raw has a cumber-like flavor. This time I used this recipe (via cascadia kitchen), and using a potato to thicken the soup rather than rice gives it the flavor of a "green" potato soup. And yes, it is very, very green.
Wash the leaves well, as they can be very gritty. I didn't have any problem with the stems, even though some of the leaves weren't as young as I would have liked.
I did double duty, and while the potato was boiling away at the bottom of the pot, I went ahead and did all of the other veggies in batches.
I used vegetable stock, and used two cups since I, believe it or not, didn't have any white wine. When I warmed up leftovers I added a bit more to thin it out a little.
A steamy shot of everything being mixed together. Popped it in the blender after it cooled a bit and...

Voila! Borage flowers are one of the few truly blue flowers that grow in nature. Bees love them, another reason we plant them in the vegetable garden, and they are edible and often used to decorate cakes and desserts. They look nice in soup, too.