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Posts Tagged ‘sorrel’

Fresh salad greens, including leaves of sorrel.

Fresh salad greens, including leaves of sorrel.

Sorrel is one of those herbs that I put in my garden because someone described it to me and it sounded good, although I couldn’t remember ever having eaten it. I figured eventually I’d try it and be glad I added it to my collection.

In the last two years, I’ve added small fresh leaves to my garden salads and loved the lemony taste that they added to the mix. I’ve also discovered that my chickens LOVE sorrel and will decimate it in short order if given the chance! I’m hoping to add a few more plants just for that reason – I’ll bet it’s splendidly good for them, and it will give me a chance to snip off more than just the most bedraggled of the leaves to share with them. However, I’ve cooked with it or explored any other possible uses until somehow, for some reason, I came across the idea for sorrel soup.

I modeled my experiment after this recipe for one basic reason: I had all the ingredients on hand. Most of the lovely-sounding recipes out there called for a potato (and often cream) and I just didn’t have a potato (or cream) at the moment. And I don’t know about you, but I just don’t want to go to the store for a potato! I end up spending $30-40 and bringing home all sorts of other things I don’t need like bread, ice cream, or some kind of funky condiment – when all I wanted to do is try a new fresh treat from the garden.

After searching high and low for a recipe that was even easier than those calling for cream and potatoes, I found what I was looking for. I’ve adapted mine from the Gastronomer’s Guide version to be vegetarian and to accomodate the fact that for now, I just have one good sorrel plant – I cut the entire plant for this recipe and it gave me about half what I figured the original recipe needed (and I’m amazed at how rapidly it’s growing back!). This recipe is so basic, all you need is olive oil and some eggs. And the way I ended up making it, it makes a really small serving – just enough for two people to enjoy it as a refreshing lunch, an appetizer, or a light summer supper with some crusty bread and a salad.

 Sorrel Soup

1 bunch (about 1/2 pound) sorrel leaves, washed and trimmed of stems
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large shallot, chopped
3 cups vegetable broth
3 teaspoons sugar
coarse sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 large or 2 small eggs, beaten
several dollops plain yogurt

Heat oil in a medium pot or saucepan. Add shallots and saute over medium heat until translucent and beginning to turn golden. Tear sorrel leaves into large pieces and toss into pot a handful at a time. Cook, stirring often, until sorrel breaks down into a soft “sauce” and turns greenish-brown (this goes quite quickly!). Add broth, bring to a boil, and simmer 15 minutes.

Blend the soup with an immersion blender or in small batches in a food processor (working carefully so as not to burn yourself!). Return to pot and add sugar, salt and pepper to taste, then slowly stir in the beaten eggs and stir until fully cooked and dispersed into soup. Cook soup for a couple more minutes. Ladle into bowls and top off with 1-2 Tbsp plain yogurt for each serving.

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This lovely soup is very light and lemony (which is probably why it pairs so well with the egg and – in my opinion – with the tangy yogurt; it reminds me of the recipes for the Greek soup Avgolomeno). We polished it off in no time and I wished I had more for the next day, but the speed of the sorrel’s regrowth in the garden is promising many more opportunities to enjoy this simple and healthy soup throughout the growing season. Next test: will it freeze well? (I bet yes, as long as you freeze it just after pureeing it and add the eggs later!).

Check out these other great-sounding and easy sorrel soup recipes:
Terra Brockman in the Chicago Food Examiner

Gabrielle Hamilton of Prune, in New York Magazine

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Here’s a quick run-down of what’s growing in my garden right now. I’m doing this largely to keep a record, for next year, of what comes around when; perhaps it will also be of some use to others gardening in high and dry places around 5000+ feet, wherever you are. If you live at high altitude, drop a comment and tell me what you’re getting out of your garden in mid-July!

Ready for the eating:

Rainbow chard

Collard greens

a few last heads of Romaine

Zucchini – still enjoying them grilled with olive oil and Penzey’s special seasoned salt; eventually I expect we’ll tire of that and start looking for other ideas, but for now I can’t keep them on the plate.

A mystery hybrid squash that volunteered in last year’s old squash bed; it’s producing small yellow rounded fruit, kind of like a patty-pan crossed with a yellow crookneck (could be exactly that, but who knows? I’ll try to eat one and see what it does…)

Red onions – I just yanked the whole batch and used them in the chard and onion quiche I made last weekend; had I not done so I’d still have several good ones.

Sorrel

Parsley, basil, tarragon, thyme, oregano, lots of mint, sage, chives

ripening: currants, gooseberries, apples!

On the vine, looking pretty green: lots of heirloom tomatoes and cherry tomatoes of all shapes and sizes. I’m expecting cherry tomatoes to overwhelm us soon: we have black cherry, Sungold, Galina’s (a yellow cherry tomato) and one called Matt’s Wild Cherry that I think will be red. It will make for pretty salads no doubt! The other tomatoes that are looking very promising are an Old Ivory Egg and Grandma Mary’s Paste. A few, like the Carbon, Brandywine and German Heirloom Striped, are setting fruit but look a long way from edible – these are supposed to be BIG tomatoes and so far aren’t, so those will be a longer wait.

That’s it for now; I’d almost call it a lull in the garden, if it weren’t for the zucchini that has gone from nothing to rampant in just a few days. I’m glad for the chard to give us at least a little variety in our diets!

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