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The Top 5 Soup Herbs

gourmet soup guide top 5 herbs

#1: Parsley

At the top of the list is parsley as it’s such an excellent garnish for all your soups. And don’t forget flat-leaf parsley (Italian parsley) which will not only serve as a garnish but it will also add loads of flavour and nutrition, especially when used with Lovage in soup stocks.

# 2: Chives

Chives is a close second because it’s also an excellent garnish and because it adds a delicate oniony aroma to almost any soup. Always add just before serving.

#3: Lovage

Lovage gives more depth and flavour to the stock of all soups. It is especially good when combined with flat-leaf parsley. Use the stems as well as the leaves for better flavour.

#4 – 5: Winter Savory and Thyme

Winter Savory and thyme are good soup all rounders which can be used in a wide variety of soups. And they both make nice additions to bouquets garnis. Combine them with parsley, chives and lovage to liven up your existing soup recipes.

#6 – 10: Basil, Bay leaf, Celery, Cloves and Marjoram

These are all close contenders for the top 5 position because they are so versatile and because they all work so well with each other. If you are serious about creating gourmet soups you’ll find them indispensable in your arsenal.

36 Popular Soups Herbs and Spices

Here’s a list of the 36 herbs and spices we recommend in this Gourmet Soup Guide. You will note that we use the classification system we developed for making your own bouquets garnis. If you need more information on this system and how it will improve your cooking read this article.

Fusion Soup Herbs:

Bay leaf, chervil, chives, marjoram, parsley.

Mild Soup Herbs:

Anise, basil, borage, dill, fennel, celery, coriander, salad burnet.

Robust Soup Herbs:

Garlic, ginger, hyssop, lemon balm, lovage, mint, oregano, savory, sorrel, tarragon, thyme.

Soup Flavourings and Spices:

Allspice, cardamom, cayenne, cloves, coriander seeds, cumin, juniper, mace, nutmeg, paprika, rosemary, sage, turmeric.

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5 Popular Seasoning Salt Recipes

According to Tony Hill, author of the Spice Lover’s Guide to Herbs and Spices seasoning salts are one of the fastest growing categories of spice sales. They are incredibly versatile from a marketing perspective he says; you can attach just about any culinary trend or herb and spice blend to a seasoning salt. Tex-Mex, BBQ Spice, Greek, Italian, Poultry, the sky is the limit.

Seasoning salts aren’t hard to formulate and the nature of salt is that it will stabilize and preserve whatever tastes you care to add to them.

The blends also tend to get better over time as the flavours infuse and marry with the salt and each other. This means one can make a large batch every three months and draw from the pot as needed.

Buy a good quality sea salt and start experimenting.

1.Basic Herb Salt Recipe

Most of us are familiar with celery salt and garlic salt. But few cooks realise how simple and easy it is to make a whole range of herb salts. Use the following basic recipe and any herb you prefer. The stronger more robust herbs maintain their flavour best in a herb salt.

You are also welcome to try some combinations of herbs and spices.

4 parts fresh herbs 8 parts sea salt

  1. Set your oven to its lowest temperature.
  2. Chop the herbs as finely as possible and mix with the salt. Spread the mixture on a baking pan and cover with foil.
  3. Place in the oven, keeping the oven door slightly ajar, and dry for approximately 1 ½ hours or until the herbs are dry and brittle.
  4. Allow to cool. Crumble the herbs with the salt.
  5. Package the herb salt in airtight containers, which have been decorated and labelled beforehand.

Seasoning Salt Recipes

seasoning-salt-food-400405_1280For all the seasoning salt recipes below, it’s best to grind or crush all the spices together with the salt by running the entire batch though a coffee mill. The texture depends on your preference. Little bottles make great gifts for family and friends and won’t break the bank.

2. Poultry Seasoning Salt

This seasoning salt is a good example of the endless variations available to you when you start cooking with herbs and spices. Since we like pungent food we add 1-2 Tbs extra hot chilli powder to this recipe.

1 cup coarse sea salt
8 tbsp dried Italian parsley
4 tbsp dried sage
4 tbsps dried marjoram (or 2 Tbs dried oregano)
2 tbsp dried winter savory (optional)
2 tbsp dried rosemary
1 tbsp dried lovage (or 1 tsp Maggi Fondor)
1 tbsps dried lemon rind
1 tbsps brown sugar
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon onion flakes

3. Vegetable Seasoning Salt

1 cup coarse sea salt
3 tbsp dried marjoram
2 tbsp dried oregano
2 tbsps dried thyme
1 tbsp dried sage

4. Salt-Free Seasoning Salt

Herb blends are a worthy substitution for the salt shaker on the dining table. And they also offer a healthy addition to your diet. This recipe has been created especially to be used in place of salt.

2 tbsp dried basil
2 tbsp dried parsley
2 tbsp dried marjoram
2 tbsp dried savoury
2 tsp dried rosemary
2 tsp paprika powder
2 tsp onion granules or flakes (not powder)
2 tsp powdered milk (aids shaking and prevents caking)

Mix all the ingredients then ground them finely in a blender. Put in a shaker bottle.

5. Salt-Free Barbecue Rub

This rub works well with any kind of meat. Beware: because of the high sugar content it caramelizes (blackens) quickly on the braai.

9 parts brown sugar
6 parts paprika powder
3 parts black pepper
3 parts garlic powder or flakes
1 part cayenne pepper
½ part onion powder
½ part mustard powder
½ part celery seed, crushed
½ part chilli powder
½ part cumin, crushed

Mix all the ingredients then store in an airtight container.