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- Put the onion into a heavy-based saucepan.
- Add the stock and bring to boiling point very slowly so the onion begins to soften a little.
- Meanwhile coarsely chop a small handful (5 or so tablespoons) of lovage.
- Add the potato and herbs to the pan and pour on 1/2 pint buttermilk.
- Increase the heat very slightly and bring the mixture to a bare simmer.
- Stir vigorously all the while as the potato starch will thicken the soup, which may stick to the pan base.
- Half-cover the pan and reduce heat as low as possible once again.
- Cook very gently indeed, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are perfectly tender.
- Whizz the contents of the pan to a smooth puree.
- Season with salt and pepper and with extra lovage if you like.
- Whizz again and thin to taste with a little more stock or buttermilk.
- Reheat gently or chill thoroughly before serving, then garnish with a swirl of buttermilk and a small piece of chopped fresh lovage.