Thursday, January 31, 2013

Sorrel - Celery Leaf Soup

One thing I love about having a CSA is that it often challenges me to expand my knowledge and skills. This time around, it provided me with a small bunch of sorrel. Now, this was a green I'd never heard of, but Google is my friend. Sorrel has a sour taste, from an excess of oxalic acid, the same chemical that gives rhubarb its distinctive flavor.

Sorrel is most commonly used in salads, and pureed soups. I thought I'd  try my hand at sorrel soup. I didn't have a lot of sorrel, so I wanted to stretch it a bit. I did have some very leafy celery, also from my CSA, so used the celery leaf to get enough greens to make soup. I flavored it with a little green onion, and thickened it with sour cream and egg. It is garnished with sour cream and onion sprouts.

To prevent curdling, the egg and sour cream will need to be tempered. What this means is that a small amount of the hot soup is added to the eggs and sour cream, and whisked. This raises the temperature of the egg, as well as spreads out the proteins. If you just dump egg in the soup, you'll get a lump of scrambled egg.

It had a wonderful lemony flavor, and the bitterness of the celery leaf matched well. It seemed to have a fair bit of umami, which seems to come from the celery leaf, which is high in glutamate.

Sorrel - Celery Leaf Soup

3 cups (packed) chopped sorrel leaves
1 cup (packed) chopped celery leaf
1 large green onion, minced
2 Tbsp. butter
1 tsp. vegetable stock base
3 cups water
2 Tbsp. sour cream
1 egg, beaten
sour cream to garnish
onion sprouts to garnish

In a sauce pan over medium heat, melt butter. Sweat onion until tender. Add sorrel and celery. Cook until leaves are mostly wilted. Add water and soup base. Bring to a simmer. In a blender, or with an immersion blender, puree soup.

Whisk together egg and sour cream. Ladle some soup into the egg mixture and whisk. Add egg mixture to the soup, whisking to incorporate. Bring soup back up to a simmer. Ladle into bowls. Garnish with a dollop of sour cream and a few onion sprouts.

Makes 2 servings.

Happy Eating!

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