Saturday, January 20, 2007

Weekend Herb Blogging #66

Scott from Real Epicurean is this weeks host of Weekend Herb Blogging.

Once again, my find comes from one of my favourite farmers market stalls. The hydroponics stall is usually my second stop of the day (jumbo egg man the first) and it's here that I pick up just the freshest and best bunches of living herbs and vegetables. This week sorrel formed part of my haul.

sorrel

This is common sorrel otherwise known as spinach dock. It's a perennial herb whose leaves have a sharp and somewhat acidic, lemon flavour. This flavour comes from the presence of oxalic acid (also found in high levels in rhubarb leaves which is why they shouldn't be eaten). If you have kidney or bladder stones or rheumatic conditions you should probably avoid sorrel.

You can add younger leaves in small quantities to salad to provide contrast, or as I'll be doing here, turning it into a soup. I've applied the same principles used in the zucchini velouté and really simplified the soup to make the ingredients the focus. To soften the sorrel I've introduce a sweet element in the form of fresh peas to create quite a refreshing little starter.

soup sip

Sorrel and Pea Soup Sip
[Makes 6 sips]

100 grams fresh sorrel leaves, picked weight without stems, washed and drained
1 leek, white onion, cut into small dice
1 cup fresh/frozen peas
salt and freshly ground white pepper, to taste
fresh cream

Place a little oil and butter into a saucepan and gently heat - when the butter has melted add the diced leek and let it slowly soften without colouring.

Add the peas and let them sauté for a few minutes. Roughly shred the sorrel leaves and add them to the pan. They will begin to wilt and discolour fairly quickly - add about 1/3 cup of water and continue to cook, on the lowest simmer until the peas are tender.

Use a wand/stick blender to puree the soup - taste and season with salt and pepper as required. Add 1/3 cup of cream and blend again until smooth and well incorporated. Return to the stove and let it slowly come back to temperature. As I'll be serving this as a sip I don't want this to be too hot - I want it to be just warmed through.

Pour into glasses and top with a drop of cream.

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14 comments:

  1. Hi there! Sorrel is a herb I have not previously tried, but I quite like a little sip of soup from time to time. This sounds like an interesting combination. I am pleased to have found your blog.

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  2. Hi Tim and Welcome! The sorrel does get quite an unappealingly dark tinge to it when it's heated and I found the peas were a good way to bring the colour back and take the edge off the sorrel's sour taste. I hope you visit again!

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  3. It sounds lovely. I tried sorrel for the first time last summer when I found some at my farmer's market (ah, life is so much better when it's summer!) I was surprised how much I liked it. I just had it in salad, and I found the taste quite delightful. I tried it out on a few friends who also liked it.

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  4. Wow - your photographs are excellent. It's also great to see someone using some "different" herbs, too.

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  5. Thanks Kalyn - I think it might be something that people will either love it at first taste or dislike, maybe a little like coriander. I think it helps to get the leaves when they are young and haven't gone too far over into that sour quality.

    Thanks Scott - look forward to the roundup!

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  6. Haalo, this sounds really delicious, and it's so beautiful and simple! I don't think I've tried sorrel yet, so I'm putting that on the list and will give this recipe a try. Your photo is gorgeous, by the way!

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  7. Looks really interesting and delicious! I'm bookmarking this, so I'll have it handy in the spring when I can get fresh sorrel leaves!

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  8. Thanks Genie - do let me know what you think of sorrel and the soup!

    Thanks Pille - look foward to seeing it!

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  9. Haalo,

    I always tell you I learn new things with you - it's totally true!

    I've never tried sorrel and this soup looks delicious - what a beautiful shade of green!

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  10. Thanks Patricia - the peas help to create the shade it's a little more murky if made with just sorrel. Another option instead of peas, use potatoes.

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  11. beautiful photo. AND I love my food wand! I just got it for Christmas and I seem to find at least one thing to puree every day!

    Looks delicious!

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  12. Something to do with the sorrel that is growing in my grape vines. We keep mowingl it keeps growing. It grows all winter so I no longer have an excuse not to go pick some. Great recipe!

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  13. Beautiful! This makes me actually want to find some sorrel~I may have to look a bit.

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  14. Thanks Janelle - those wands are worth their weight in gold!

    Thanks Katie - sounds like you have an abundance of sorrel. I'd probably be fussy and pick the younger leaves.

    Thanks Sandi - I do hope you find some or find someone like Katie who has to mow it!

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