Last night, I made a big batch of cauliflower soup (one of my favorites soups) and I was feeling a bit creative and curious to what herb oils would taste best drizzled on top. I decided to make chive oil (it’s pretty popular in many recipes) and follow the exact same process with other fresh herbs I had on hand. In the end, I had the following 8 different herbs oils to try with my cauliflower soup:
- Chive oil
- Dill oil
- Parsley oil
- Oregano oil
- Sweet Basil oil
- Rosemary oil
- Cilantro oil
- Mixed herb oil: chive, dill, parsley, oregano, sweet basil
Oh my, what did I get myself into?!
I was not sure if I had a big enough appetite to try 8 bowls of soups, so I decided to use espresso cups (8 mini soups) with a different oil in each. The winner was then allowed to bathe in a large bowl of soup in the end after my taste test!
The verdict with herb oils and my cauliflower soup? All of the herb oils looked pretty much the same (green), so I had no preference over another for the look. But my favorite tasting herb oils with my cauliflower soup (ranked from most favorite to least) were: basil, the mix of 5, chive, dill, oregano, and then parsley. I was not a huge fan of the cilantro oil nor the rosemary oil – they were both too overpowering. If I was to use the cilantro or rosemary oil in anything, I would use less drops or maybe add more oil to dilute them a tad.
Sky is the limit: These oils would be great to garnish and enhance so many other soups. Some that I can think of are: parsnip soup (chive, dill, basil or oregano oil), potato soup (chive oil), borscht (dill oil), white bean soup (chive, dill, mix oil) and tomato soups (basil, oregano or parsley oil).
Not just for soups: Herb oils are also great drizzled on fish, scrambled eggs, potatoes, steamed vegetables, pasta and salads (for salad dressing, I would add a tad of balsamic vinegar and lemon juice.) I actually had the basil oil in my egg white scramble this morning with a slice of prosciutto and goat cheddar.
Ingredients for Herb Oil:
- 1 small bunch chives (or dill, parsley, oregano, basil, rosemary, cilantro)
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- pinch salt
- dash freshly ground pepper
Instructions for Herb Oil:
- Bring small pot to a boil.
- Plunge herbs in boiling water with prongs, for about 10 seconds.
- Shock them in cold ice bath with prongs.
- Drain, wrap the herbs in a paper towel, and squeeze all of the moisture out.
- Cut herbs in half. (If rosemary take the herb off of the sprigs – they are too woody)
- Put herbs in a blender/small processor.
- With machine running, add oil in a slow stream; puree for about 2 minutes.
- Let stand at least 1 hour in fridge.
- Strain through a fine-mesh sieve, pressing against any solids with the back of a spoon to extract as much oil as possible.
- Discard solids.
- Add to plastic squeeze bottle.
- Drizzle a pretty or cool design on top of your soup.
- Refrigerate left over herb oil. I try to use it up within 2-3 days tops, bring it to room temperature before using.
Do you have favorite herb oils that go well with certain soup recipes? Feel free to share below!