Herb Walk with Christopher Hobbs Course Update
Herbal Correspondence class with

Diana De Luca, herbalist, nutritional chef and author of Botanica Erotica, teaches workshops in women’s health, belly dance and whole food plant-based cooking based in Sonoma County, California

Zupa di Finochio (Fennel Soup, an old Sardinian recipe)

In 1 tablespoon olive oil, sauté 4 bulbs of thinly sliced fennel (without the greens) for 10 minutes. Add 6 cups light veggie or chicken broth, and then simmer 30 minutes with a couple pinches of sea salt. Sprinkle with chopped Italian parsley or shredded mint. Makes 6 servings.

Options: Before adding herbs, purée 1/2 of the soup and return to pot. Cayenne or black pepper may be added as well as diced potatoes. May be topped with Parmesan cheese.

Nettle Bisque

Sauté a diced, small, sweet onion until soft and fragrant.
Add 1/2 teaspoon pink Himalayan (or other) salt, 4 cups chopped fresh nettles, and 1 1/2 cups veggie broth. Cover and simmer on low for 15 to 20 minutes.
Transfer to blender with soaked cashews or pine nuts or sour cream, and blend until smooth.

Options: cayenne pepper, squeeze of lemon.
Serve in 1/2 cup portions for a rich, potent spring tonic. Also excellent during convalescence.

Port Nettles

Into a clean jar, place dried nettle leaves. Cover with Port wine, Marsala, Sherry, Madeira, or any of the fortified wines with a sweet flavor and higher alcohol content.
Cover jar, shake daily (the jar!), and strain after 1 week. Take 1 spoonful 1 to 2 times daily as a blood tonic; for healthy hair, skin, and nails; and to enrich any of the body's systems.

Herbal Berry Sorbet

Boil 2/3 cup water, remove from heat, and add 1 tablespoon lemon thyme, rose geranium, lemon verbena, or lemon grass leaves with 1 cup organic cane sugar, stirring to dissolve sugar. Strain after 10 minutes.
Using about 6 cups berries, press through a sieve for 2 1/2 cups purée (can leave seeds in berries as well). Mix with herbed sugar syrup.
Refrigerate until cold.
Stir in 1 tablespoon lemon juice. (Opt: 2 tablespoons raspberry or cassis liqueur.
Freeze in ice cube trays; process in food processor until shaved. Or freeze in metal pan, and scrape to serve, or process in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions.

Autumn Yammy Chili

4-5 servings

1 sweet onion, diced
8 oz large mushrooms, diced
1 1/2 tbsp ghee or olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1 15-oz can fire roasted diced tomatoes
1 1/2 cups veggie broth
(I like the Better-Than-Bouillion organic Vegetable Broth concentrate)
1 tsp each: cinnamon powder, coriander powder, smoked paprika,
chili powder, allspice powder
2 tsp cumin powder
1 1/2 cups cooked OR 1 can drained black beans
3 cups cooked yams, diced
1 cup cooked corn
2 tbsp chocolate chips
opt> 3 red jujube dates, pitted, chopped
         1/2 tsp Chipotle powder or cayenne

 Sauté onions and mushroom in ghee or olive oil with salt until soft (5-10 minutes), stirring occasionally.
Add tomatoes; stir in spices; and then add 1 cup broth.
Stir in beans, yams, corn, chocolate, and dates (if using). If too thick, add the remaining 1/2 cup broth.
Cook for 20-30 min on medium low, covered. Remove lid, stir, taste,
add salt if desired

Can serve with Cashew Cheeze:
Soak 1 cup cashews 2-8 hrs. Drain; add to blender with 1/2 cup water, juice of 1 lemon, 1/4 tsp salt, 1 tbsp nutritional yeast.
Blend until smooth, adding water if necessary. Remove from blender to non-stick saucepan; heat on medium. Add 1 tsp arrowroot or tapioca flour that has been mixed with 1 tbsp water.
Stir well with wooden spoon until thickened. Let it cool.
OR for a cheezier flavor, scoop into a glass bowl, leave uncovered at room temperature overnight, and then add:
1 tbsp white miso and 1 tbsp each minced fresh Rosemary, Parsley, Basil, Dill, Green Onions and 1/2 tsp black pepper and garlic granules (or 1 cloves pressed fresh garlic).
Stir well; adjust seasonings

In winter I serve the chili with a lovely Valencia Orange Salad
Dice peeled oranges with shredded spearmint and diced jicama drizzled with a little olive oil, sprinkled with pink salt and a few grinds of black pepper.
Stir, then let sit at room temp 10 minutes. It makes its own dressing.
Stir before serving.


A tofu favorite from Diana

Tofu with Yeast Gravy

1 cube tofu, sliced
1 1/2 cups water
3/4 cup nutritional yeast
2 cloves minced garlic
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup teriyaki sauce or tamari

Put the tofu in a pyrex baking dish. Blend all
other ingredients together and pour over tofu.
Sprinkle ½ cup sliced shiitakes on top if desired.

Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes.

Beth Baugh, course coordinator for Foundations of Herbalism, has this tofu recipe:

Tofu Ginger Paté

1 8-oz package tofu
2 T nutritional yeast
1 lemon, juiced
2 T tamari
1 T olive oil
1 avocado
1 T Balsamic vinegar
1/8 t cayenne
2 T grated ginger
1/2 t kelp or dulse (if available)

Mash everything together with a potato masher or salad fork. Serve with carrot and celery sticks or crackers.