Dandelion

Dandelion is a herb that stimulates the flow of bile and enhances the body’s ability to eliminate toxins. Used as a diuretic it helps prevent gallstones and cleanses the liver. The leaves contain vitamin C and beta-carotene and are considered an antioxidant that help  prevent many diseases.

There is a traditional soup in France, creme de pissenlits (cream of dandelions), combines the bitterness and spiciness of dandelions with other savory flavors.

Cream of Dandelion Soup
Prep time: 10 minutes
Total time: 50 minutes
Yield: Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients
2 pounds (about 6 cups) dandelion greens, trimmed and washed
1 tablespoon butter or olive oil
2 large leeks, white and light parts only, cleaned and sliced (save the dark ends for a later use)
1 carrot, cleaned and diced
4 cups vegetable stock
2 1/2 cups milk
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard (optional)
Dash salt and pepper to taste
Handful dandelion buds and/or flower petals for garnish

Directions
If using more mature or very bitter tasting greens, blanch them in a pot of boiling salted water, then drain and squeeze out the excess water, chop and set aside. 

Heat butter or oil in a large pot over medium high heat, add greens, carrot and leeks and cook, stirring often, for 15 minutes. 

Add stock and simmer for about 15 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and whisk in milk, cook stirring frequently, until slightly thickened. 

Puree mix in a tightly covered blender until smooth, taking care with the hot liquid. Season with salt and pepper, and add Dijon if you like.
Serve in bowls and garnish with flowers or buds.