This is one of my Top Three soups, rich and velvety but tangy, perfect as a starter or a hot canape shot. You do need a large amount of sorrel though, so it’s best attempted if you grow your own (or know someone who does) or can buy it in a really big bunch from your local farmers’ market.
Happily, lovely, lemony sorrel grows like a weed in our garden. It’s even crowded out the almost indestructible chard and it was overdue for a trim to encourage new growth. We ended up with a sink full but I’ve given more manageable quantities here.
The recipe comes from my sister-in-law Sarah, a superb cook. She measures by eye. I’ve tried to give accurate measurements but feel free to use your own judgement and tweak as you go. The ingredients are simple, so please try to use good quality chicken stock, as you’ll really notice the difference.
And if you have vast amounts of sorrel as we did, any extra puree is fabulous stirred into a hollandaise sauce to eat with fish, especially salmon.
Sarah's Sorrel Soup
About 500g fresh sorrel
About 500ml chicken stock
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 egg yolks
A little cream
Rinse the sorrel and strip away the stalks and central spines. Tear the leaves roughly and drain well. You should have around a colander full.
Melt the butter in a large saucepan and stir in the sorrel. Cook to a puree – about three minutes. If you’ve never cooked sorrel before, please don’t be put off by its rather nasty colour and texture at this point. It will be delicious in the end, I promise.
Add the chicken stock, bring to a boil, lower the heat and simmer gently for 10 minutes, then liquidise or blend until smooth. Taste, and add salt and pepper to taste, depending on how salty your stock was.
In a bowl, beat the egg yolks with 3 tbsp of cream. Bring the soup base back to just under the boil and add a ladleful to the egg mix. Stir, and then add back to the pan, whisking continuously, until it thickens somewhat. Make sure you don’t allow it to boil or you’ll have scrambled eggs.
Taste again, whisk in more cream in small increments if it’s too sharp, and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Serve in small bowls (I did say it was rich), topped with a small swirl of cream and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.