Yesterday as I was doing some garden clean-up, I thought to myself mallow soup for dinner
. I just happened to be near several poppy mallow
plants and I'm pretty sure they planted the idea in my head. You know how that works. Poppy mallow is a lovely low-water perennial groundcover with magenta flowers. It also happens to be an easy-to-grow herb with both medicinal and food value -- a medicinal food! Its demulcents soothe the throat and stomach lining relieving pain and inflammation while its emollient qualities can help to heal skin irritations.
Four cups of beautiful mallow leaves were plucked in short order, washed, and ready to go. You can also use the prolific dooryard weed, common mallow (Malva neglecta)
-- but poppy mallow (Callirhoe involucrata)
leaves, a cultivated member of the mallow (Malvaceae
) family, are just a little more tender, in my opinion.
Before prepping a planting area in the Buddha garden, these overwintered-by-accident onions had to come out. Perfect for the soup.
As with most soups, I used what I had -- the onions, celery, garlic, and about a quarter of a butternut squash. A sweet potato could sub for the squash -- or mushrooms or cauliflower or whatever's around.
Curried (Poppy) Mallow Soup
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 cup chopped celery
1-2 crushed garlic cloves
1-2 cups chopped butternut squash
1-2 t. curry powder
1/2 t. paprika
1/2 t. salt
dash of cinnamon
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
4 cups mallow leaves, coarsely chopped
1 T. tamari
1 cup chopped tomatoes, fresh or canned
Saute the onion, celery, garlic, and squash in olive oil 5-10 minutes. Add the spices and continue for another minute or so, stirring constantly at that point. Add the chicken broth, mallow leaves, tomatoes, and tamari. Simmer 20-30 minutes. Serve with cream or yogurt.
It's delicious. But if you don't go for spicy-hot, then go easy on the seasoning!
Also posted at Food Renegade