Friday, February 26, 2010

Sorrel Soup with Broccoli, Spinach and Fennel

The sorrel in our garden has grown ridiculously big during these cold winter months, with some leaves reaching over two feet long from stem to tip.  The leaves stand out in the winter garden with their dramatic pointed shape and bright green color.  For some reason, though, sorrel is never the first thing we think of using as we survey the garden for dinner ideas.  When we do get around to using it, though, the results are so tasty that we inevitably regret neglecting this wonderful leafy green.   
Sorrel is also a gardener's dream come true.  Our sorrel plants have never had a pest problem, they thrive during our hot summer months when few plants can survive, and they grow equally well in cold months.  In fact, part of the reason we tend to forget about using sorrel in the kitchen is the fact that we know it will be around tomorrow and the day after that if we don't cook with it today.  That's hard to say for most garden vegetables.  Add in the lovely tart, lemony flavor and the fact that sorrel is loaded with vitamins and minerals, and the conclusion is obvious:  If you live in Zone 9, sorrel is a wonderful year-old green that deserves a spot in your garden.

Sorrel Soup with Broccoli, Spinach & Fennel Soup
Based on a recipe in Love Soup by Anna Thomas


2                    yellow onions, chopped
3        Tbs      olive oil
1 1/2   tsp       sea salt, plus more to taste
12       oz        broccoli florets (we used broccoli florets)
1                    fennel bulb
8         oz        spinach
8         oz        sorrel
1                     medium sweet potato
3         cups     vegetable broth
                       black pepper
                       cayenne pepper
                       fresh lemon juice

  1. Saute onions in olive oil with half a teaspoon salt, stirring occasionally over medium heat until they are soft and golden brown. Do not hurry this process; it will take at least half an hour, and when you think the onions are done, cook them a little longer to develop their rich, sweet flavor.
  2. While the onions cook, thoroughly wash the broccoli, fennel, spinach, and sorrel. Coarsely chop the greens and the fennel bulb.  Peel and dice the yam. Combine these vegetables in a big stock pot with 5 cups water, the vegetable broth, and 1 tsp of salt. Bring the liquid to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook, covered, for 10 minutes.
  3. Add the caramelized onions to the soup and continue to simmer, covered, another 15 minutes. 
  4. Add black pepper and cayenne to taste, plus 1 Tbs olive oil.   Puree soup until smooth in food processor or with an immersion blender.  Season again to taste with sea salt and pepper.  Add lemon juice to taste (depends on how strong your sorrel is) until the soup has a delicate, slightly tart flavor.
  5. Serve with a crostini or thick, crusty bread for dipping.  Optional:  crumble some cheese (feta, goat cheese or cotija work) on top of each bowl of soup.

If you like this recipe, try our Flatbread with French Sorrel, Roasted Cauliflower, and Crumbled Goat Cheese
Or, try our Slow-Cooked Butter Beans with Sorrel


  1. Sorrel sounds like the perfect plant. I adore the tangy flavor it brings. This looks like a terrific soup!

  2. Next time my friend gives me sorrel from her garden, I will be making this delicious soup!

  3. I know I've said this before but I can't wait until I have a house and a garden so I can survey it to give me food ideas. That is so amazing you can do that...and it makes me jealous you have a garden in the dead of winter! Your soup look great!

  4. I cannot wait to plant my lovely sorrel seeds and eagerly watch them grow and then, finally then - make this beautiful soup!

  5. Is there anything you don't have growing in your garden? I'd be interested to know how much room you have to grow your veggies. I aspire to be a gardener as dedicated as you.

  6. i love sorrel, always looking for new ways to cook with it. merci pour l idee

    the paris food blague


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