July 5th, 2011

Buckler Leaf Sorrel and Spinach Soup

The joy of growing your own vegetables is that not only do you have the privilege to pick them when they’re ready to harvest, but, it’s also a clear reminder of the seasons we are currently in.

The spring this year was baking hot and we longed for rain. Now that summer is here the skies are overcast with heavy grey clouds and I’m tempted to turn the central heating on. It’s crazy!

The brightness and beauty of this soup is perfect for any occasion; it definately brightens up my day. If grey and cold serve it hot with a large chunk of freshly baked bread or if it’s hot and sunny serve the soup chilled along with a chilled glass of pinot gris.

The best chef’s tip for how to keep a green soup green is to ensure that the cooking time for the greens are as limited as possible and that the soup is chilled, preferably over ice, as quickly as possible. This will ensure a deliciously bright green soup. I also recommended making this soup in small batches, to ensure the bright green colour.

What is buckler leaf sorrel? The buckler leaf sorrel is a hardy perennial herb producing small insignificant green flowers in the summer and has shield shaped green leaves that taste as similarly tart as Granny Smith apples and kiwi fruits. Like common sorrel, buckle leaf sorrel has a sharp citric irony taste. Buckler leaf sorrel is also known as French sorrel and is native to the mountains of southern and central Europe and southwest Asia. This sorrel variety is more succulent and acidic than those of the common garden sorrel. In traditional folk medicine buckler leaf sorrel was used as an antiseptic because of its high vitamin C content and was believed to prevent scurvy. In addition to being rich in vitamin C it is also high in vitamin A and is a good source of iron.

Buckler Leaf Sorrel and Spinach Soup

  • 400g potatoes, peeled and finely sliced
  • 1.2 L vegetable stock
  • 1 onion sliced
  • 1 clove of garlic crushed
  • Juice and zest of one lemon
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 200g buckler leaf sorrel
  • 200g fresh large leaf spinach
  • Salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • Crème Fraiche for garnish
  • Mixture of edible flowers and herbs for garnish

In a large saucepan with rapid salted boiling water blanch the buckler leaf sorrel and spinach leaves, dunk them in ice water to cool rapidly and to ensure they keeps their colour.

In a another large saucepan sauté the potatoes, onion and crushed garlic in two tablespoon of olive oil, cayenne pepper and seasoning until lightly coloured, which will take about 2 minutes at high heat. Add the stock and bring to the boil, simmer for 10 minutes, until the potatoes are soft. Add the grated nutmeg and lemon juice and remove from the heat.

Drain the blanched sorrel and spinach. Add to the soup base and blend the soup until smooth, taste and adjust the seasoning if needed and chill the soup over ice.

Sorrel Pesto

  • 1 bunch of sorrel
  • 30g pine nuts, toasted
  • 20g golden linseeds
  • 30g Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 30ml rapeseed oil
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed
  • 4 sprigs of mint
  • 1/4 small bunch of parsley
  • Maldon sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper

Toast the linseeds and pine nuts, set aside to cool completely. Place the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed and let the flavours develop for about 20 minutes.

To Serve

Serve the soup either chilled or reheat and serve immediately with a splash of extra virgin olive oil, a few drops of crème fraiche and a few spoons full of the sorrel pesto; garnish with herbs and edible flowers.

Serves 6


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4 Comments to “Buckler Leaf Sorrel and Spinach Soup”

  1. Eleanor says:

    Hi Madeline,

    Recognise some of the edible flowers in the picture, but not all. Which ones do use at this time of year, other than nasturiums, rocket flowers and borage? What is the yellow one in the picture and the white?

    Eleanor

  2. Madalene says:

    Hi Eleanor,

    The yellow and white are both rocket flowers. The pinky one and frilly white leaf is chervil and the small green leaf is buckler leaf sorrel.
    They are superb, tasty and very pretty.
    I also like using oregano flowers both white and pink, they have a fantastic taste and also looks amaizing.

    Happy cooking
    Madalene

  3. Absolutely beautiful. Now wondering if I can do something similar…thinking cap on, methinks. A beautiful soup!

  4. malcolm says:

    Hi Madalane, nice to see the Buckler Leaf Sorrel doing well. The plant I bought with you & Ross last year in Suffolk is doing very nicely in my herb garden – always a nice memory of hot sunny days in East Anglia, hopefully you’ll get some more sunshine soon!

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