Sorrel & Roasted Potato Soup

May 8, 2009 at 9:47 pm 16 comments

Sorrel and Soup

I can’t tell you how many times a customer came up to me last season while I was working at the Headhouse Farmers Market and, upon buying a shocking number of sorrel bunches, raved on and on about the soup they planned to make with it – schav.  This Russian/Polish/Yiddish classic apparently had a large following of devotees among the shoppers at the market, but I’d never tried it myself.  As much as I love sorrel, I wasn’t convinced I wanted it as a base for a cold soup.  From what I gathered from these schav zealots, you put a ton of sorrel in a pot of water and waited until it boiled down and then let it chill.  I pictured a lumpy green slime with a distinctively bitter taste to boot.  Of course, I misunderstood.

Potatoes and cucumbers

With gobs of sorrel growing like gangbusters in the container on my deck, I decided it was time to work out my apprehensions and confusion about this much touted sorrel soup.  As it turns out, schav is a complex soup, both in flavor and in concept.  Since its origin is a bit muddled, it seems the recipe has also gotten a bit jumbled along the way and across the generations.   As I went on an online treasure hunt for a “traditional” schav recipe, I quickly discovered recipes from all over the world and all with a unique twist to the list of ingredients.  The only ingredients that seemed “mandatory” were the sorrel (duh!) and at least one egg. 

Sorrel and Roasted Potato Soup Triptych

Ironically, after searching high and low (electronically speaking, of course) for the perfect cold sorrel soup recipe, I found the one I fancied the most right on my own cookbook shelf.  This one, which I’ve decided for the sake of full disclosure to call Sorrel & Roasted Potato Soup, seemed to have more umph, including potatoes and cucumbers to offset the zing of the sorrel.  Oh, and by the way, in case you’re worried the way I was, the sorrel doesn’t get lumpy at all – rather it just sort of dissolves to create a luscious and delicious broth.   Thumbs up for the “schav”! 

Schav Soup

 Chilled Sorrel & Roasted Potato Soup
Adapted from A Good Day for Soup

2 large bunches of sorrel
1 small onion, finely diced
4 C. water
1 egg, beaten
¾ C. sour cream
Salt and pepper
3 C. roasted potatoes*
1 small cucumber, finely diced

*To make the roasted potatoes, scrub and cube about five medium potatoes.  Toss with a tablespoon of olive oil and season with salt, pepper, and other seasonings as desired.  Roasted in a preheated oven at 425 F for 20 minutes or until the potatoes are golden brown and soft.   Set aside to cool. 

Wash the sorrel well and remove the tough ribs from each leaf.  Roughly chop or tear the leaves.  In a large saucepan, simmer the sorrel and diced onions in the water for 20 minutes.  Remove the from heat.  Using a ladle, slowly stream some of the hot liquid into the eggs while whisking at the same time, about a cup.   Whisk the egg mixture back into the main soup pan. 

Transfer soup to a bowl, cover and chill until ready to serve (should chill for at least 2 hours).  Stir in the sour cream until well blended and taste for salt and pepper.  Add potatoes and cucumber and serve immediately. 

(serves 4)


Entry filed under: Recipes, Soup. Tags: , , , , .

Organic Tzatziki Dip Roasted Asparagus Risotto

16 Comments Add your own

  • 1. George Davis  |  May 11, 2009 at 5:59 am

    Hi Jenn,
    There are plants that I suspect are sorrel growing in the community gardens at Bellevue Park in Wilmington, Delaware. They appear to be quite invasive, having radiated out from just one plot. Nobody owns up to having started the invasion. The leaves look similar to your photo. The plants here are currently in bloom, with pretty purple pink drooping bells. The plants have a long tap root like a skinny parsnip. Are they sorrel?
    Thanks, would love to try the soup. George

    • 2. Jennie  |  May 12, 2009 at 3:28 pm

      Hi George –

      Actually, that’s not sorrel in your community garden. Sorrel has straight spikes of white flowers (not very showy at all). It’s just a guess, but those might be virginia bluebells (Mertensia) in your garden. In any case, I hope you can find some sorrel at some point and give the soup a try! 🙂

  • 3. Dana  |  May 11, 2009 at 9:17 am

    That looks lovely and delicious. I find soups very difficult to photograph but you seem to have got it down!

  • 4. lailablogs  |  May 11, 2009 at 11:43 am

    sounds really delicious .. Laila ..

  • 5. George Davis  |  May 13, 2009 at 4:57 am

    Hi Jenn,
    Virginia bluebells was a great guess from my description. I have those and this plant is different. The leaves look much like what you have in your picture. I will have to ask around the park some more. Thanks, George

  • 6. George Davis  |  May 14, 2009 at 4:26 am

    I got an herb book out the library last night. One of the pictures had the plant I have seen. The flowers are a perfect match. It’s comfrey! Per Wikipedia: Comfrey (Symphytum officinale L.) is a perennial herb of the family Boraginaceae with a black, turnip-like root and large, hairy broad leaves that bears small bell-shaped white, cream, purple or pink flowers. Recent articles strongly suggest not ingesting comfrey as it may cause liver problems. The plant is attractive, though apparently invasive. Mystery solved. George

    • 7. Jennie  |  May 14, 2009 at 11:43 am

      Oh, I completely forgot about comfrey! So glad you took the time to look it up and solve the mystery. Sad that you can’t put it to good use. Sorrel grows very easily and quickly from seed so perhaps you could put some in your plot yet this year and have the soup in a couple weeks. 🙂

      • 8. Pete  |  June 15, 2009 at 3:01 pm

        I read your description and shuddered immediately. I had a plot with comfrey for years until I finally moved. Never stopped pulling it out. It had moved well beyond the garden fence so I ended up going out there to remove it. It was a battle of attrition and the comfrey won.

  • 9. Sylvie, Rappahannock Cook & Kitchen Gardener  |  May 15, 2009 at 7:05 pm

    Love Sorrel ( – a green that I can actually eat in late winter!

    What a nice variation variation on sorrel & potato soup (or chilled sorrel & cucumber soup). And love the bowl in which you are serving the soup.

    • 10. Jennie  |  May 16, 2009 at 12:08 pm

      Thanks, Sylvie! Both bowls in these pictures are ones I made myself back in the day when I made my own pottery. Glad you like them! 🙂

  • 11. curiousdomestic  |  May 16, 2009 at 10:21 am

    I’ve never had the opportunity to try sorrel. Any idea if you can also saute them like spinach? My cookbooks are my best backup for info, too, especially the antique/vintage ones. Back to basics!

    • 12. Jennie  |  May 16, 2009 at 12:06 pm

      You’re right – you can treat sorrel just like spinach, just remember that it has a tany/sour taste so it can be overwhelming if not combined with something else. I hope you can find some to try! As for cookbooks, you’re right there as well – the old ones seem to have every kernnel of cooking wisdom anyone could ever want. 🙂

  • 13. jj  |  May 23, 2009 at 12:03 pm

    sorrel -lightly sauteed with a bit of onion and garlic-touch of white wine, makes a wonderful “sauce” accompaniment for salmon (provencal france) in addition to the jewish/eastern european soup recipe. in soup it is often accompanied with a cold hard boiled eg.

    • 14. Jennie  |  May 25, 2009 at 9:05 am

      That sounds delicious, JJ! Thanks for sharing with us and hopefully you have some sorrel close at hand. 🙂

  • 15. Irene Saiger  |  August 29, 2010 at 8:25 pm

    I grew up eating sorrel soup all the time. Very simply prepared with an egg and sour cream and lemon. We had it chilled and it was really refreshing!


  • 16. julia har akne  |  April 13, 2013 at 4:40 am

    julia har akne…

    […]p I enjoy your writing style truly enjoying this web site . vr[…]…


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed

Add to Google Add to My Yahoo!

All text and photos © 2007-2012 Straight From the Farm. Contact straightfromthefarm (at)gmail(dot)com to ask for permission before reprinting in any format.


Fill in your email address below to get new posts sent to your inbox so you'll never miss a great recipe!

Join 466 other followers

Favorite Photos

My site was nominated for Best Food Blog!

CookEatShare Featured Author
view my recipes
CookEatShare Featured Author

The Foodie Blog Roll

%d bloggers like this: