Posts Tagged ‘springtime’

French Sorrel Soup, with a nod to Julia Child

Sorrel is one of the very first plants to come up in the spring in my front yard, and after only a few weeks it’s so prolific I have plenty to make soup with, as well as to enjoy in salads. So, last weekend I made my first batch of sorrel soup, based on Julia Child’s recipe.

First, you pick the leaves (or buy them from the farmer’s market), and chop them fairly small. Admire the lively green color of the fresh leaves – as soon as you start to cook them they turn a very drab green (but don’t worry, they still retain their intense lemon taste!).

01 whole-sorrel-leaves

Whole sorrel leaves

02 chopped-sorrel

The sorrel rinsed, dried, and chopped.

Then you chop up your scallions or ramps or other mild onion, and cook gently for 10 minutes in a covered pot.

03 chopped-scallions

Chopped scallions

04 cooking-scallions

Cooking the scallions slowly

Add the chopped sorrel to the pot, and cook gently for another 10 minutes or so. Then stir in a bit of flour (I used a gluten-free rice flour.)

06 added-sorrel-leaves

Sorrel added to the scallions

07 added-the-flou

Adding the flour and stirring

While the sorrel leaves are cooking, bring broth to a simmer in another small pot. And, whisk together the egg yolks and cream in a small bowl.

05 heating-the-broth

Bringing the homemade chicken broth to a simmer

08 eggs

Egg yolks and cream whisked together

Whisk the hot broth in to the soup, stirring constantly. When this has come to a simmer, ladle a little soup into the bowl of egg yolk and cream, whisking constantly so it does not curdle, and repeat this two more times.

09 soup-ready-for-the-eggs

The broth added in to the soup and brought to a simmer

10 tempering-eggs

Whisking a little of the hot broth into the egg-cream mixture

Then you can slowly add the egg-cream mixture in to the soup, whisking the whole time. Let it cook at the lowest heat for a few minutes; don’t let it come up to a simmer or boil. Serve at once; I like to sprinkle it with a little bit of fresh chopped sorrel. And I enjoyed it with a dry rosé, preferably dining al fresco! Ah, spring. Recipe follows.

11 adding-eggs-to-soup

Slowly adding the tempered cream and egg yolks to the soup

12 finished-soup

Time to eat!

INGREDIENTS
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup green onions, ramps, or other mild onion, chopped
4-6 packed cups green sorrel, chopped, and keep a couple tablespoons to the side for serving
salt
3 tablespoons flour
1 quart chicken stock
2 egg yolks
1/2 cup cream

DIRECTIONS

Melt 3 tablespoons butter in a soup pot over medium heat. Add the green onions or ramps and turn the heat to medium-low. Cover the pot and cook gently for 10 minutes.

While the onions are cooking, pour the stock into another pot and bring to a simmer.

Turn the heat up in the pot with the green onions, add the sorrel leaves and a healthy pinch of salt to the green onions and stir well. When the sorrel is mostly wilted, turn the heat back to medium-low, cover and cook 10 minutes. Stir occasionally. Mix in the flour and cook over medium heat for 3 minutes.

Whisk in the hot stock, stirring constantly. Bring this to a simmer.

To finish the soup, whisk together the egg yolks and cream. Temper the mixture by ladling a little soup into it with one hand, while you whisk the egg-cream mix with the other. Repeat this three times. (You are doing this to prevent the eggs from scrambling) Now start whisking the soup. Pour the hot egg-cream-soup mixture into the pot with the soup, whisking all the way. Let this cook — below a simmer — for 5 minutes. Do not let it boil or the soup will break. Serve at once. I like to garnish with a little shredded sorrel, and ideally a little drizzle of a fantastic olive oil on top.