2 Thanksgiving Staples: Lovage and Sage

| 11/6/2012 4:43:00 PM

It is one of my favorite times of the year: soup time! I love a hearty bowl of flavorful herbal soup served with a slice of crusty bread. That brings me to my two favorite Thanksgiving herbs: lovage, which is one some of you may not be as familiar with, and sage, the quintessential herb of Thanksgiving.


Lovage (Levisticum officinale) is one of my favorite herbs because it is up early in the spring, goes to flower and seed in the heat of summer, and comes back to life in the fall. It is a perennial member of the parsley family. For additional recipes and information, read Linda L. Underhill and Jeanne Nakjavani's article "Lovage."

Growing Lovage
Lovage looking good in the fall garden.

It makes a big presence in the herb garden and so it is important to place it in the back of the herbal border.  It needs full sun for at least 4 to 6 hours a day and it is perennial for Zones 4 to 8.  It does go dormant in the winter and it needs that period of dormancy.  So it is probably not good in the deep south and tropical areas.

I, of course, use it throughout the season as a replacement for celery.  Then right around this time, I cut what I think I will use during the winter and put the leaves between paper towels or air dry them.  If you dry them between paper towels, the paper towels will smell like lovage.  An herbal bonus!  The leaves will turn yellow from loss of chlorophyll, but the flavor is retained.  You should not dry lovage in a sealed paper bag because of the moisture content in the stems, the leaves will be moldy.  Once the leaves are crispy dry, place them in a container that is labeled and dated.  You want to dry only as much as you will use during the winter and by all means use it within a year.  

Melinda Christensen
3/22/2013 5:34:39 PM

We started growing Lovage about 6 yrs. ago. The flavor is wonderful. My husband loves Lovage soup. I will try freezing it this winter. Clever idea. Whatever peppers I have left at the end of the season I chop up and put them in ice cube trays, freeze them & then put into a freezer bag. When I need peppers for a recipe I just take out a couple cubes and there you go.

Subscribe today and save 58%

Get the latest on Healthy Living and Natural Beauty!

Mother Earth LivingRedefine beauty and embrace holistic living with Mother Earth Living by your side. Each issue  provides you with easy, hands-on ways to connect your life with the natural world -- from eating seasonally to culinary and medicinal uses of herbs; from aromatherapy and DIY cosmetics to yoga and beyond. Start your journey to holistic living today and you’ll discover all the best and latest information you want on choosing natural remedies and practicing preventive medicine; cooking with a nutritious and whole-food focus; creating a nontoxic home; and gardening for food, wellness and enjoyment. Subscribe to Mother Earth Living today to get inspired on the art of living wisely and living well.

Save Money & a Few Trees!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. You’ll save an additional $5 and get six issues of Mother Earth Living for just $19.95! (Offer valid only in the U.S.)

Or, choose Bill Me and pay just $24.95.

Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter