Saturday, September 7, 2013

Sorrell soup

I think of sorrell as a tart lemony early spring green so I am delighted to see our little patch of sorrell rejuvenated by recent cooler nights. There could easily come a time in the next couple when the hard frost will banish that bright green for the winter. I broke off a couple good handfulls of leaves and headed for the kitchen with sorrell soup on my mind.  If you search for recipes you will find the French version and the Eastern European version, but every one calls for butter and/or cream. So here's my no oil, no dairy invention that was the centerpiece of a lovely lunch today and could easily be the start to a gourmet dinner. We ate this as a leftover with a heaping tablespoon of brown rice in the center, which was delicious and a bit more substantive.

SORRELL SOUP (serves 4)

2 handfuls (about 3 cups sliced) sorrell leaves
3 small potatoes with skins
1 medium red onion (I used half a huge torpedo onion)
1 medium green zucchini
4-5 cups water
1/2 tsp salt
fresh ground pepper to taste
dill sprigs (decoration & to eat)

1) Slice the onion very thinly and then chop it into bits. Cut the zucchini into small pieces (1/2 inch) and put all of this into a soup pot with about 1 cup of water. Let this simmer quietly with a little of the salt.

2) Cut the potatoes into slices and then rectangles and then little squares. Throw the potato pieces into the pot and add the rest of the water, deciding if you need a little more water in order to cook the potatoes and still have some broth. Cook this for about 10-15 minutes until everything is soft.

3) Wash the sorrell and break off the stem parts up
to the leaf --you can leave the stem part attached to the leafy part. Pile this up on a cutting board with the leaves all going longwise. Cut across into little ribbons.

4) JUST BEFORE SERVING, stir the sorrell into the hot soup, mixing and stirring until the sorrell begins to change color. Remove from heat and using a hand blender, puree the whole thing.

5) Salt to taste, serve into bowls, grind a little fresh pepper on top with a sprig or 3 of fresh dill leaves. This looks beautiful and tastes great. The subtle balance of substance from the potato with tang from the sorrell is blended with the sweetness of the zucchini and given depth by the onion. The dill gives a counterbalance to the zing of the sorrell. What could be simpler or more yummy Spring or Fall?

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