A girlfriend and I share a love of gardening, although her thumb is a deeper shade of green than mine. Plus she’s way more experimental and scientific.
Every spring, I grab from what is offered locally by nurseries. I get excited just to see a variegated sage, probably because there were years that I couldn’t even find basil plants. Those were some tough years.
Just the other day this girlfriend asked me what to do with sorrel. I had no answer because I’d never grown it. My mother has mentioned sorrel over the years, so I emailed her and she remembers a soup with a roux base, that contained sorrel.
So I had to google sorrel. The description of the taste of sorrel was interesting – it’s not just a spinach or arugula kind of leaf. In fact sorrel and rhubarb are in the same botanical family! It’s got a lemony thing going on; the lemon flavor bursts out of the leaf when you chew it, almost like a squirt of lemon juice.
Some of the leaves had grown quite tall already, and with most leafy plants like lettuces, the baby leaves are good raw, but the older ones should be cooked because they can become bitter. This is especially the case when the weather gets warmer. So I decided to make a soup.
So we harvested it, I gently rinsed the leaves in water, and placed them on a towel to dry.
Before using them in the soup I cut off some of the thicker stems.
Here’s the soup I made, which is a mixture of all the sorrel soups I found online, many of which were called French sorrel soup.
2 ounces unsalted butter
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
2 leeks, sliced, white and pale green parts
3 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
2 white potatoes, chopped
Sorrel leaves, about 8 ounces
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 – 1/2 cups good chicken broth
Heavy cream, about 4-6 ounces
Heat the butter over medium heat in a soup pot. Have all of the ingredients prepped.
Add the onion, leeks, and garlic to the butter and saute´for about five minutes.
Stir in the potatoes.
Then add the sorrel leaves and a little salt.
Add enough broth just to cover the potatoes. Bring the soup to a gentle boil, then cover and simmer for about 15-20 minutes, or until the potatoes are fully cooked.
Remove the lid and, if necessary, keep the soup at a gentle simmer to evaporate excess liquid.
When somewhat cooled off, pour the soup into a large blender jar and blend until smooth. Add cream to the mixture and blend until incorporated. Stop at the desired consistency.
Serve hot or warm. I added a little dollop of sour cream and a few chopped chives.
I didn’t add any other seasoning other than salt because I wanted the sorrel flavor to really shine. But a little white pepper would be good.
Cooking the sorrel subdues the lemony flavor, but the soup is still really tasty.
If you can find sorrel and haven’t had it before, I’d first try it in a salad mixed with other greens. That way you can really taste the unique lemon flavor of it.
note: If you don’t want to use white potatoes to thicken the soup, you can use some silken tofu, or drained, canned beans.
Sorrel is one of my favorites :) So, thank you for one more recipe ! :)
I’m so glad I finally got to try it!
I love sorrel but never thought to use it in a soup. Lovely refreshing idea.
Have a super week Mimi.
:-) Mandy xo
Thank you Mandy!
Lovely, simple, and delicious. Sorrel is amazing. My mom makes a Russian sorrel soup – served cold in the summer – with chopped hard boiled egg on top. It is really good. I actually have all the ingredients for something similar to your soup, so I guess that sorts out a few of this week’s dinners!
Oh, that sounds really good!
That looks delicious!
Thank you! It was really nice to finally taste sorrel!
I have not had any in years. Reminds me of the poached fish with sorrel sauce I had many years ago. I totally forgot about sorrel. Thank for bringing it back
Oooooh. That sounds good!!
Sorrel has been growing like a weed in my tiny garden for years and I am always interested in new recipes. Your soup looks delicious. Thanks for the recipe.
You’re so lucky!
Soup snap Mimi! I like the idea of a lemony herby soup. We don’t see sorrel here in fruit and veg shops so I would have to grow it.
Here, too. I feel lucky to have finally tasted it!
I love the lemony tang of sorrel. Great soup recipe! It also makes a nice sauce for fish (cooked, puréed and blended with a bit of crème fraîche).
That sounds really lovely. I couldn’t believe just how lemony it is!
I’ve made sorrel sauce but not yet a soup. This reminds me of vichyssoise with sorrel. Like rhubarb (and spinach) it contains oxalic acid (C2H2O4), which can be quite astringent. This velvety soup will take care of that. Where I live, sorrel grows as a spontaneous herb in wet areas.
I think it would be good as a cold soup as well. I read that you’d have to eat 10 pounds of sorrel a day for the oxalic acid to be a health risk! You’re lucky it grows where you live – it’s a fun herb!
I didn’t mention the oxalic acid for the health risk, but because of its astringency.
Looks delicious! I will see if I can find some sorrel at the market!
It was fun making a soup with a new ingredient!
I just had to look it up as I don’t know the French but it appears to be ‘oseille’. I’m sure I’ve seen it somewhere. I love anything with a lemon tang and this soup look delicious.
You would love this raw, then. It’s very lemony!
Nice, I really love creamy soups, I do often too :)
It’s chilly and rainy here so this would be perfect. I’ll have to explore this ingredient.
It’s very unique ! Of course, you can use spinach !
Yeah, but when you can go unique, why do spinach! :)
Right, which is why I was so happy to try it. But it really shines raw, not cooked, I found out. Still was fun, tho!
I prefer raw greens over cooked. I should get some for our salads.
Love that gorgeous color! This soup sounds wonderful Mimi. With a hunk of bread I would be in heaven :)
The color improved when I added the cream! It was kind of a weird green before!
I love sorrel but have never grown it. A couple of months ago, I asked our favorite local farm if they could get some and grow it for me and they said they would, so I’ll have to make your soup when it comes in! Yum!!
We grow it in the garden, mainly for making soup, although as you and others have pointed out, the baby leaves are good in a salad and it makes a great sauce to go with fish. I often add a bit of spinach to help keep the colour green, as it can go a bit sludgy-looking when cooked! I read somewhere the other day that the best way to keep green veg vibrant in colour is to leave the lid off when cooking … don’t think this works with sorrel though. Linda x
It definitely turned a terrible green color. I think the leeks helped, plus the cream toned down the color!
Kind of khaki … not visually appealing but doesn’t it taste good?
Yes, green khaki. But it is good!
Can you believe I have never had sorrel. I know what rock have we been living under.. LOL This soup looks so rich, creamy and delicious. Tofu to thicken the soup sounds like a great idea. We love soups all year around. Sharing!
Thank you. Well I believe you since I’d never had it either, and I’m 61 !
This looks so tempting to me Chef Mimi – with what looks to be a good start to winter in Sydney this week!
Enjoy!!! I’m jealous of your upcoming winter months!
Gorgeous photography Mimi, and that sorrel soup looks so good! I’ll have to see if sorrel is available at our Farmer’s Market, it finally starts next Wednesday for the season!
Thank you so much! Yeah, it’s hotter where I live, so ours has been going on for a few weeks already!
I have been using a lot of sorrel lately, but only in sauces. I once tried to make sorrel soup and had a blender “incident” – most of the soup ended up on the ceiling! So when they say, ” Use caution when blending hot liquids,” they mean it!
Oh my, I did the same thing. Live and learn. And keep bandaids iin the kitchen!
Sorrel soup is SO good! I rarely see it on restaurant menus — sometimes at a French restaurant, but that’s about it. And I haven’t made this is years. You really have me craving this — yours looks excellent. Thanks!
Thank you so much! I consider this quite a compliment.
Love sorrel – I have a really beautiful red vein variety growing. I have made sorrel soup before – almost identically to your recipe, so very classic – and classy! I’m sure it’s delicious and a very well described recipe xxx
All the recipes I perused were just about the same, I guess a French classic recipe!
I’ve never tried sorrel before, but anything that has “a lemon thing goin’ on” should be good!
Hahaha! It is oddly, strangely lemony!
Earlier this year I stood in front of a herb stall looking for cilantro when I saw a pot of herbs that just looked really nice. I asked what it was, and it turned out to be sorrel. I was a tad disappointed, because I had no idea what I would do with sorrel, and I thought it would be idiotic to buy it because I found it pretty :-D . Guess I need to give it a try, after all…
That’s funny. Well, if you still can find it, pick off a baby leaf and try it. You will be shocked at its flavor!
I have enough sorrel in my backyard to make a lot of soup. It grows like crazy and I never know what to do with it all. THANK YOU!
Really?! Well what fun! It seems like a spinach substitute to me, but my experience is limited to this soup. Have you tried it in a salad yet?
I don’t think I’ve ever even tasted sorrel. Your soup looks so tasty!
The raw taste of it is really incredible. Cooked, it’s not much different than spinach.