Dandelion Soup

Red dandelion greens in the field

The humble dandelion, so rich in nutrients.

Serves 4-6

1 cup dandelion roots
4 cups cubed potatoes
2 cups dandelion leaves
2 cups onion, diced
2 or more cloves garlic
2 tablespoons vinegar
Salt to taste

Clean and chop dandelion roots and cook with potatoes in water to cover. Meanwhile, saute onion 5 minutes, add chopped dandelion leaves, cover and cook over low heat until potatoes in other pot are done. Drain roots and spuds, reserving water for future soup or bread, and put in serving bowl. Mix everything else together and add to bowl. Serve hot or cold.

We thank Healing Wise by Susun S. Weed for this recipe.

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Spring Tonic Soup

Serves 13-15

2 cup onion, chopped
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups fresh burdock root
1 cup fresh dandelion (leaf & root)
1 cup fresh yellow dock
4 ounces seaweed
2 cups carrot, sliced
6 cups potatoes, cubed
4 quarts water
Salt to taste

Cook onion in oil in soup pot until golden. Add soaked, but not parboiled, burdock root slices. Chop fresh dandelion leaves and roots and add. Chop fresh leaves and roots of yellow dock (Rumex crispus) and add. Add all remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cook covered at least an hour.

We thank Healing Wise by Susun S. Weed for this recipe.

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Roasted Dandelion Root Tea

Dig up and carefully clean some dandelion roots. If picked late in the spring, you may want to remove some of the root hairs. I usually cut off the tops in the field. Wash the roots thoroughly either in a bucket filled with water and physically agitate the roots with your hands, or take a hose and spray off the dirt. Clean until the water runs clear. Then take a knife and cut the roots into chunks. Wash one more time.

Put 2 cups of chunky roots into your food processor and chop until coarse. Put these into a separate bowl and process the rest 2 cups at a time until finished.

Spread the roots onto cookie sheets to a depth of 1/2 inch. Place in oven set at 250 degrees. Leave the door slightly ajar so that excess moisture can escape. Drying and roasting the roots takes about 2 hours. When dried they change from a yellowish color to a dark coffee color. Stir frequently with a spatula to assure even drying and roasting. Rotate sheets. Watch carefully during the last minutes so they do not burn. Cool and then store in glass jars. I grind my roasted chips in a coffee grinder used for herbs.

For tea, use 2 tablespoons dandelion root powder per 12 ounces water in a French press or place in saucepan with water and steep as an infusion.

Adapted from rosesprodigalgarden.org/recipes/dandelionrecipes.html.

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Cream of Dandelion Soup

Red dandelion greens in the field

Add dandelion greens to soups and stews to provide a mineral-rich ingredient.

4 cups chopped dandelion leaves
2 cups flower petals
2 cups buds
1 tablespoon butter or olive oil
1 cup chopped leeks or onions
6 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups water or veggie/chicken stock
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon curry powder or turmeric
2 cups whole milk or milk substitute

Gently boil dandelion leaves in 6 cups water. Pour off bitter water and boil gently a second time, pouring off the bitter water.

In a heavy soup pot, saute leeks and garlic in butter or oil till translucent. Add 4 cups water or stock, leaves, flower petals, buds and salt. Simmer gently for about 45 minutes.

Add milk and simmer a few minutes more to meld the flavors. Season to taste. Garnish with flower petals.

Adapted from rosesprodigalgarden.org/recipes/dandelionrecipes.html.

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Dandelion Sunflower Seed Pesto

Nourish Restaurant in Sequim, WANourish, Sequim’s new garden-to-plate restaurant and gathering place, is featuring a series of meals created using items from Nash’s farm share boxes each week. In this pesto alternative, humble dandelion greens shine.

Yields about 1 cup.

3/4 cup unsalted sunflower seeds
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
1 bunch dandelion greens, washed
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
Black pepper to taste

Cloves of garlic

Pesto can be made out of just about any greens, including tasty dandelion greens.

Toast the sunflower seeds.

Pulse the garlic and seeds, parmesan cheese, dandelion greens, and lemon juice and process continuously until combined. Stop the processor every now and again to scrape down the sides of the bowl. With the blade running, slowly pour in the olive oil and process until the pesto is smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste.

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