April 17, 2010

Potato-Sorrel Soup

Sorrel is a perennial herb, harvested beginning in early spring, which should be in every garden so you can enjoy the lemony flavor of its leaves. The young leaves are nice in salads; throughout the summer and fall I use sorrel for soup, hot and cold, for tarts (sorrel-onion tart, delicious) and for sauces. A nice soup for this time of year, being that I'm eating lots of potatoes––the root cellar potatoes are starting to sprout, so I want to use them before they spoil [I love potatoes!]––is this sorrel and potato soup, another gem from Deborah Madison's The Greens Cookbook.

5 Tbs butter
6 1/2 cups water
3 leeks, white parts only (about 8 oz), cut into 1/4 inch rounds (I didn't have leeks, so used sliced onions instead)
4 to 6 oz sorrel leaves (about 8 cups), stems removed and roughly sliced or chopped
1 1/2 lbs red potatoes, quartered lengthwise and thinly sliced (I used French Fingerlings, a beautiful waxy potato, perfect for this soup)
sour cream (optional) and chives for garnish
  1. Melt the butter in a soup pot with 1/2 cup water.
  2. Add leeks (or onions), sorrel and salt, and stew, covered , for 5 minutes over medium low heat.
  3. Add potatoes and cook another 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Pour in the rest of the water, bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 1/2 hour.
  5. Taste soup, adding salt if necessary. Serve with grinding of pepper and garnishes.


  1. This wonderful soup is on our list for lunch very soon. I agree that everyone should have this plant in the garden. It appears first thing in spring (with the chives), doesn't spread immoderately, and renews itself after being cut back. We use it all summer.

  2. In our former garden, which was very sunny, I grew sorrel for soup as well as lovage for soup as well. Lovage was a great plant (similar in flavor to celery) but grew about 5' high — lots of fun drama. Miss all those sunny herbs!

  3. I'm glad you both appreciate sorrel. As for lovage, I also have a clump of it in my garden. It's a beautiful plant––I agree about the "grand drama"––and with the flowers, grows to 6 feet in my garden. I'm sure it'll make an appearance in the blog later in the season.

  4. I have sorrel in my old perennial vegetable patch, and leeks. These just come back year after year without any help. So I am trying this recipe tonight. Thanks!

  5. Dear ALtoon,
    My friend, Miriam, has become a great fan. She keeps a folder for all the recipes you post and tries them all. I think that's a great idea.

  6. I'm going to enjoy your blog as I'm a gardener, artist and blogger too. I'm making this right now for my book club meeting. I have lovage, chives and sorrel in my herb garden also.

  7. thanks, Francine, I'm happy to have a new reader. Welcome!