Native to Asia and Europe, this cousin
to the daisy is one of the most enchanting
of all herbs. A gentle and soothing relaxant,
chamomile has for centuries been shown
to work on a variety of complaints, from
stress to digestive ailments. Its moniker
comes from the Greek for "ground-apple,"
a reflection of its satisfying apple-like
aroma and flavor. Usually imbibed as a
mild, delicious, and naturally caffeine-free
tea, chamomile has recently been finding
its way into the culinary scene. Be creative:
Try decorating desserts with blooms, sprinkling
petals in salads, and using the brewed
tea to cook up a hearty pot of soup.
8 chamomile tea bags
6-1/2 cups water, divided
1 large red onion, chopped
2 tablespoons DHC
Núñez de Prado Extra Virgin Olive
3 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
1-1/2 tablespoons ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
2 tablespoons light or dark brown sugar, lightly
1 can (29 ounces) pumpkin
1 tablespoon salt, or to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
3/4 cup sour cream or plain yogurt,
for garnish (optional)
Sliced chives, for garnish (optional)
1. Bring 4-1/2 cups water to a boil;
pour over tea bags; cover; steep for 6
2. Sauté onion in oil over medium-low
heat until soft, about 3 minutes. Stir
in garlic, cumin, and cayenne, stirring
constantly until mixture is aromatic,
about 1 minute.
3. Stir in tea, remaining 2 cups water,
pumpkin, sugar, and 1 tablespoon salt.
Simmer, stirring occasionally, until mixture
reduces and lightly coats the back of
a spoon, about 20 minutes. Season to taste
with salt and freshly ground pepper.
4. Serve in individual soup bowls. Garnish
each with a dollop of sour cream or plain
yogurt and a sprinkle of chives.