This delightful lemony soup, made from French sorrel, tastes like spring. Not only is this green plant (Rumex scutatus) nutritious, but it is also a perennial vegetable.
1 Kitchen garden
(Alas if you don’t have one… go to the farmer’s market for the ingredients, but please, start a kitchen garden next year, so that you can have the true gastronomic experience of this dish.)
A few sprigs of fresh parsley
A few sprigs of thyme for seasoning
A few sprigs of blooming thyme for garnish
1 baby leek plant (or shallots)
1 large bunch of French sorrel (approx. 4+ cups when chopped)
3-4 cloves of garlic
A few nasturtium flowers (optional)
1 T olive oil
1 T butter (no margarine please!)
1 qt organic chicken stock
2 c. cooked quinoa [i]
2 hardboiled eggs, cut in half [ii]
Espelette pepper powder (or paprika)
Go to the garden and clip off fresh sprigs of parsley and thyme. Pull up one baby leek that is not fully developed yet. Gather a large bunch of French sorrel. (If you gather these items barefooted in the shade of the evening, the happiness you feel will be absorbed into the soup.)
Wash and drain all the herbs, vegetables, and flowers. (Enjoy the feeling of the water running over your hands, and the sight of the beautiful greenness of it all.)Cut or tear the sorrel into large pieces and set aside. Chop parsley. Strip the leaves off the thyme stems (for seasoning). Trim the root off the leek and thinly slice the white and green parts of the leek. Chop the garlic very finely or use a garlic press. (Pause and look at the intricacy of the nasturtium blooms.) Pinch off the nasturtium stems and put aside.
In a deep frying pan or Dutch oven, gently warm up the butter and olive oil. Before it browns, add the thyme (prepared for seasoning) and the leeks, and cook until slightly browned. Then add the garlic and the sorrel together and cook briefly. Pour in the chicken stock and cook for 5 minutes.
Once the soup is finished, ladle it into large open bowls. (In a color that will compliment the soup of course.)Add a large spoon of quinoa into the soup on one side of the bowl. Garnish with parsley. (The sorrel will sadly have turned a shade of olive green, but sprinkling the fresh parley on top of the soup will bring your memory back to the beautiful shade of green that it was before cooking.) Add 2 egg halves to each bowl on the opposite side of the quinoa. Sprinkle the egg with the Espelette pepper powder and salt. Then garnish your soup with the blooming thyme and nasturtium. (You can also use the nasturtiums on a salad[iii] to go with it.)
Now that this meal is ready… pour yourself a nice glass of white wine from Alsace, to enjoy with this simple and delicious meal.
[i]Be sure to finishing cooking the quinoa before starting the soup.
[ii]Cook the eggs ahead of time.
[iii]We highly recommend a simple salad of lettuce, spinach, and salad burnet sprinkled with vinegar.
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