The Herb Companion is celebrating its first decade. All year long we’re remembering what we’ve done, some of the gifted people we’ve worked with, our highlights, and some of our silly moments.
The Way We Look
If you buy your Herb Companion from the jam-packed racks of newsstands, then maybe you’ve noticed that we’re a little different. Amid this crowd of rambunctious periodicals, we try to be—shhh!—quiet.
One way we do this is by treating every cover as if it were a work of art. We commission artwork for our centerpiece, then we turn it over to another artist, Susan Wasinger. Susan is an associate of Studio Signorella of Boulder, Colorado, the graphic designers who make The Herb Companion so elegant. She has been designing our covers ever since issue #1 in October/November 1988, choosing colors and backgrounds and borders and giving each magazine the mood and the look we want.
The cover at the top, which graced the August/September 1996 issue, is one of her favorites. The artwork is by Mary Ann Nardo.
“Herb lovers and chile lovers may meet (even in the same person) with pleasing results if each applies some understanding to the sensibilities of the other.”
“Chilis and Herbs”
Here’s the first soup recipe The Herb Companion ever published. It was created by Linda Ligon, editorial director and founder of Interweave Press, and appeared in our premier issue, October/November 1988.
• 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
• 1 cup chopped onion
• 2 cups chopped red pepper
• 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, or 1/2 teaspoon dried
• 1 tablespoon chopped fresh marjoram, or 1/2 teaspoon dried
• 2 cups chicken broth
• 2 cups light cream
• 2 large eggs
• Red pepper slivers, for garnish
• Fresh thyme or marjoram sprigs, for garnish
1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and peppers and sauté about 5 minutes, or until limp. Add the herbs and cook 30 seconds longer. Add the broth and simmer, covered, about 20 minutes, or until vegetables are very soft.
2. Strain the soup, reserving the liquid. Puree solids in a food processor or blender until almost smooth. Return the puree to the saucepan and stir in the reserved liquid and the cream.
3. Lightly whisk the eggs. Gradually add 1 cup of soup to the eggs, whisking constantly. Return to pan. Heat but do not boil (or the eggs will curdle). Ladle into warmed soup bowls and garnish with pepper slivers and herbs.
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