Come Autumn I turn into a one-woman cooking machine, eager to take advantage of the fruits of harvest season. Partial to soups, stews and chili’s, you can guarantee that come Sunday there’ll be a pot simmering on my stove brimming with vegetables, beans and bits of meat, made with homemade vegetable stock so loaded in flavor it can take the blandest mélange of ingredients and turn it into a culinary event.
Three Sunday’s in and I have turned out my carrot-tarragon soup, an amazing kale and spinach soup and most recently a fantastic minestrone. I find it incredibly satisfying to finish a busy workday with one of these soothing, flavorful dishes.
Delicious though they may be, there are few soups that aren’t improved upon with a hearty dollop of pesto, another staple in my winter freezer. This year, along with basil, parsley and cilantro, I also grew sage and lavender. Wandering outside the realm of traditional preparation, I made a more medicinal yet equally flavorful pesto by combining basil with fresh sage leaves, creating a delightful combination that can enhance any soup, turn plain pasta into a gourmet dish, all while keeping your lungs clear and winter coughs at bay.
Sage has long been used as a remedy for sore throats and coughs by indigenous people around the globe. It has been shown to expel mucous from the lungs, as with bronchitis and winter colds, making it a great natural expectorant. And while I have used sage as a winter remedy in tea, I had never considered using it in my cooking… until now.
I can’t think of a better way to soothe and nourish my lungs than by including this amazing pesto to my antioxidant-rich soups. What a delicious way to stay healthy all winter long.
Enjoy! And Happy Monday!
Yields 1 cup
- 1 cup fresh basil, packed
- ½ cup fresh sage leaves, packed
- ¾ cup raw walnuts
- 4 to 5 cloves of garlic, depending on preference
- ½ teaspoon Himalayan salt
- ½ cup Olive oil
Clean and dry basil and sage. Place all ingredients in a food processor or Vita-Mix. Blend until smooth. Store in refrigerator for a week or freeze for use throughout the winter!