Learning to Use Herbs: Herbs to Warm and Soothe

Learning to Use Herbs: Herbs to Warm and Soothe
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Herbs to Warm and SootheHerbs can warm and soothe you on a cool night or a blustery cold day. After a stressful day they can soothe you with their aroma and healing qualities. The following recipes used dried herbs, which can be easily found online or offline if you don't grow your own. Once you learn what your favorites are you can keep them in the pantry year round!

Image: Oregano

To Warm.....

Vegetable Broth Blend


2 tablespoons celery seeds

4 tablespoon dried parsley

6 teaspoons garlic powder

6 teaspoons kosher salt

6 teaspoons dried summer savory

2 teaspoons dried marjoram

2 teaspoons dried thyme

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 teaspoon turmeric

1 teaspoon dried sage

1/2 teaspoon dried basil

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1/4 teaspoon dill weed

Mix together and store in airtight container. To make a cup of broth for sipping use one teaspoon with one cup of boiling water. You can also add to soups and stews as a seasoning.

Caramelized Onion Soup


2 large, white onions, peeled and chopped

2 large sweet onion, peeled and chopped

12-15 shallots, peeled and quartered

10-15 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped

2 Tbsp. olive oil

2 Tbsp. butter

5 cups chicken stock

2 cups non-fat half and half

1 tbsp. dried thyme

1 tbsp. dried oregano

2 bay leaves

Salt and pepper to taste

Heat olive oil and butter over medium heat in a large skillet. Add the onions, shallots and the garlic and toss to coat. Reduce heat to low and cover tightly. Stir occasionally and cook for about 20 minutes. Add the thyme, oregano and bay leaves to the onion mixture. Add the chicken broth, stir well, then re-cover and let simmer over low heat for 10-15 more minutes. Remove from heat and uncover. Remove the bay leaves. Puree the soup in a blender or food processor until smooth (or use an immersion type blender). It's easier if you allow the soup to cool slightly. Add the soup back to pan and add the half and half. Warm gently until it's heated through. Season with salt and pepper.

Vegetable Minestrone Soup


1/2 cup dried navy beans, sorted and soaked overnight

6 cups water

2 bay leaves

2 frozen or fresh sage leaves (1/2 tsp. dried)

1 Tbsp. olive oil

1 medium-size sweet onion, diced

salt and pepper

1/4 tsp. dried basil

1/4 tsp. dried oregano

1 large carrot, peeled and diced

6 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 green pepper, diced

1 small zucchini, diced

1/4 cup dry red wine or herbal vinegar (basil blend)

1 -28 ounce can tomatoes with juice, coarsely chopped

1/4 cup small pasta, cooked al dente, drained and rinsed

1/3-1/2 bunch fresh spinach or chard, roughly chopped

grated Parmesan cheese

Drain and rinse the beans. Place them in a 2-quart saucepan with the water,1 bay leaf, the sage leaves, and the oregano. Bring to boil, reduce the heat, and simmer, uncovered, until the beans are tender, about 30 minutes. Remove the herbs. While the beans are cooking, heat the olive oil in a soup pot. Add the onion, 1/2 teaspoon salt, dried herbs, and 1/8 tsp. pepper. Sauté the onion over medium heat until soft, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic, peppers and zucchini and sauté for 7 to 8 minutes. Add the wine and cook to 1 to 2 minutes, until the liquid is almost gone. Add the tomatoes, then the pasta, spinach or chard, and the beans with their broth. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with Parmesan cheese. Notes: you can vary the vegetables-but if anything takes longer to cook then cook it separately and add it in.

To Sooth....

Soothing Bath Tea


2 tablespoons dried thyme

2 tablespoons dried calendula blossoms

2 cups boiling water

Add the herbs to the boiling water and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes. Remove the infusion from the heat and let it cook to lukewarm. Strain the infusion and add to your bathwater.

Simple Bath Salts


2 cups sea salt and or combo with Epsom salts

1 cup dried calendula petals

1 cup dried rose petals

Optional -7-9 drops of rose or rose geranium essential oil

Mix all together and store in a jar or resealable plastic bag. Place a 1/4 cup or so in a muslin or tulle bag tied tightly, and place under the running water while filling the tub, then place in the water during your bath. You can also dissolve the 1/4 cup salts in a glass, strain and pour into your bath water. Notes: You can substitute lavender or chamomile for the calendula if you wish.

Photo: Wikimedia.org


About The Author

Brenda Hyde is a freelance writer living on ten acres in rural Michigan with her husband and three kids. She is a mom, grandma, gardener, cook and writer. She blogs on all of these topics at Harvestmoongazette.blogspot.com.


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