If you just missed Maundy Thursday, then on Good Friday you still have the chance to cook a nine-herb soup and eat it with the family in peace and quiet. This soup is made with the first greens from nature and is actually a typical spring herb soup. It is said to purify the body and have a revitalizing effect in spring. Since Good Friday is the high point of Lent before Easter, a warm herbal soup is a must on the table on this day. The so-called nine-herb soup is closely linked to the Christian tradition at Easter. In the following, we would like to explain in more detail where its historical roots are and how you can prepare this magical soup at home today. Stay tuned, because we also give you a classic recipe for a tasty nine-herb soup that is good for body and soul during Holy Week.
According to old tradition, the nine-herb soup is said to have a revitalizing effect.
The nine-herb soup looks back on an ancient tradition
Eating spring soup from nature’s first green has a long history and dates back to an ancient tradition. It is one of the oldest dishes that people prepared at the end of each long winter. They happily greeted the coming spring and rejoiced in the first gifts of nature. According to old historical information, the ancient Germans should have prepared a herbal soup from the first green of spring for their spring festival. Her magical power was beyond doubt. After the cold winter, the first green herbs helped to detoxify and cleanse the body. Then as now, the soup was a healthy meal at the time of the change of season and is said to have renewed the life energy in the human body. That’s why she was popular with young and old. Later, this healthy revitalizing spring soup was closely associated with Holy Week.
The nine-herb soup is a cult soup, closely linked to the ancient tradition of the old Germans.
In many regions it is traditionally a must on Maundy Thursday and is often also called Maundy Thursday soup. The Christians associate the green color of the nine-herb soup with hope and this increases its symbolic power. In addition, nine fresh herbs traditionally belong in the soup, with the number nine being accepted as a sacred number. In other areas of Germany, the green herb soup is eaten on Good Friday. Here it also has a symbolic meaning and announces the end of the long Lent before the big Easter (from Ash Wednesday to Easter Sunday!). However, many modern people do not accept these strict eating rules. No matter which group you belong to, a green herb soup is highly recommended during Holy Week. In the next few lines, we will be happy to tell you which herbs you need and how exactly the healthy spring soup is prepared.
The best fasting food during Holy Week is a healthy, tasty soup made from nine herbs.
What else should you know about spring herbs?
Traditionally, the first greens of spring go into this soup. However, their preparation varies from region to region. Depending on local conditions, the following spring herbs are used: Lesser celandine, nettle, groundweed, chickweed, ground ivy, sorrel, buckhorn, dandelion leaves and daisies. If you don’t have these herbs in your garden or can’t find them at the weekly market, you can also take other spring greens directly from the meadow, for example deadnettle, plantain, yarrow or watercress. And don’t forget the parsley! All of these spring herbs are healthy because they contain more vitamins and minerals than cultivated kitchen herbs.
Wild herbs or kitchen herbs? You decide!
Not everyone is familiar with wild herbs, which may be why they were referred to as weeds for a long time. Depending on their ingredients, however, they have recently established themselves as a real superfood. In addition, they grow in the wild, in the garden or on the lawn and are absolutely free. They contain antioxidants, vitamins, bitter substances and much more. This makes them extra healthy, revitalizing and detoxifying. We give just a few examples:
The soup traditionally consists of nine fresh herbs.
- Nettles contain 7 times more vitamin C than lemons and give us a good dose of iron;
- Wild garlic contains sulphurous mustard oils. These have an immune-enhancing and blood circulation-promoting effect;
- Wild herbs score with their taste. For example, many people dislike groundweed and consider it an unpopular weed in the garden. However, it tastes very good with parsley. Chickweed reminds us of corn in terms of taste.
Each wild herb is an important part of the Nine Herb Soup. Edible flowers are also often used in the preparation.
Only collect soft leaves or the upper shoot tips of the wild herbs! Then decorate the spring soup with edible flowers!
Easy recipe for Nine Herb Soup
Since not all of us have green wild herbs at home, you can replace some of them with fresh kitchen herbs.
For a healthy and revitalizing herbal soup you need the following ingredients: 100 g fresh spinach/baby spinach, 120 g mixed herbs – for example rocket, parsley, chervil, dill, basil, wild garlic, cress, chives, a small onion, clove of garlic, 1 liter cold vegetable stock, 1 tablespoon butter or vegetable oil, 200 ml cream, salt, pepper, grated nutmeg.
The preparation is simple, but the taste is outstanding!
How to do it!
- Clean and wash the spinach, removing thicker stems. Then blanch in boiling salted water for about 2 minutes, drain and leave to cool. Then chop finely. Dice the onion and cut the garlic into small slices.
- Put a small piece of butter or some oil in a saucepan, sauté the finely chopped onion, then add the garlic. Pour in the broth and simmer over a low heat. In the meantime, wash and chop the herbs. Add the cream and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Chop the washed and dabbed dry herbs and spinach, add and heat briefly. Puree the soup with the hand blender. Then season with salt, pepper and nutmeg and serve. Complete!
Depending on your taste, you can serve the nine-herb soup with chickpeas.
Every herb soup tastes even better with a boiled egg! Enjoy your meal!