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  • Writer's pictureElise

Cook Book Club: November's Spice is Caraway Seeds!

Updated: Jan 9, 2023

Each month we will highlight a different spice or seasoning. Kits will include this spice, a recipe that highlights it, a little history on the spice or recipe, and some best practices. I'll post the recipes and information here as well, so let's get cooking! The kit has undergone an upgraded appearance and we are adding back in the monthly themed potluck. Our final in-person potluck will be November 21st @5pm in our Adult Programming Room in addition to the spices and recipes. We will be hosting a cheese making class in place of the potluck next month.

Think of our potluck as a community-building event. Each month has a different theme/request. This month's is to bring something that warms you up. While it is encouraged to bring something, that isn't required. We just want to get together with others who like/love food and who want to have a little more community.


What are Caraway seeds

Adapted primarily from among others

Caraway seeds are the dried fruit of a plant in the parsley family. Occasionally mistaken for cumin (looks) or fennel (flavor), it actually has a complex flavor closer to a combination of anise and citrus. Traditionally, caraway is commonly used in sauerkraut, rye bread, as well as in meats and stews. There is even a Netherlander liqueur called Kummel in which caraway holds a starring role. Important to note, ground caraway is significantly more potent than whole and can even be somewhat overpowering.

Cooking with Caraway seeds

Adapted primarily from among others

  • Mix dried caraway fruit into bread doughs, biscuits, cookies, crackers, or scones.

  • Lightly toast the fruit and sprinkle it on top of savory porridge or cooked vegetables.

  • Take a pinch of ground caraway and mix it into a hot drink.

  • Bloom caraway in oil and pour the sizzling oil on top of a hot soup or stew.

  • Create a flavorful dry rub for meat with caraway seeds and other spices.

  • Make a simple syrup infused with caraway seeds to flavor a cocktail.

History of Caraway seeds

Adapted primarily from among others

Native to Asia and used since antiquity, Caraway has been cultivated and used in Europe since the Middle Ages. Much of the proof of its use is from debris in Swiss lakes. It is thought that caraway might be one of (if not the) oldest spices used in Europe. Writings from the 17th century mention it used in breads, fruits and cakes, and like so many others, used both as digestive aid and mouth freshener.


Main Event(s)

Slow Cooker Root Veggie Winter Soup

As adapted from for use by the Brown Deer Cookbook Club

Yield: 6 servings ● Prep Time: 25 min. ● Cook Time: 5 hrs. 5 min. ● Total Time: 5 hrs. 5 min.


  • 1 (32 ounce) carton low-sodium vegetable broth

  • 1 (10 ounce) can low-sodium chicken broth

  • 1 ¼ cups water

  • 1 teaspoon caraway seeds, divided

  • ¼ teaspoon dried cilantro, or more to taste

  • 1 teaspoon dried tarragon

  • ¼ teaspoon coriander seeds

  • 1 ½ pounds colored carrots, peeled and sliced

  • 1 pound parsnips, peeled and sliced

  • 1 large rutabaga, peeled and cubed

  • 1 large white onion, cut into large wedges

  • ground white pepper to taste

  • 1 green onion, chopped


  1. Combine vegetable broth, chicken broth, and water in a slow cooker set on High. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds and dried cilantro.

  2. Combine remaining 1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds, tarragon, and coriander seeds in a spice grinder; pulse until finely ground. Stir into the slow cooker.

  3. Stir carrots, parsnips, rutabaga, and onion into the slow cooker. Cook on High until liquid is boiling. Reduce to Low and cook until vegetables are tender when pierced with a fork, about 5 hours.

  4. Season with white pepper; garnish with green onion.

Cook's Note:

Substitute vegetable broth for the chicken broth if desired.

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