Sorrel soup is a soup made from water or broth, sorrel leaves, and salt. Other possible ingredients are egg yolks or whole eggs (hard boiled or scrambled), potatoes, carrots, parsley root, and rice. It can be served hot or cold, and is usually garnished with sour cream. It is known in Russian, Polish, Ukrainian, Lithuanian, Latvian, and Eastern European Jewish cuisines. Its other English names, spelled variously schavel, shchav, shav, or shtshav, are from the Proto-Slavic ščаvь for sorrel. Due to its commonness as a soup in Eastern European cuisines, it is often called “green borscht”, as a cousin of the standard, reddish-purple Borscht soup. See also our French Style Sorrel Soup recipe.
Sorrel soup is characterised by its sour taste due to oxalic acid (called “sorrel acid” in Slavic languages) present in sorrel. The “sorrel-sour” taste may disappear when sour cream is added, as the oxalic acid reacts with calcium and casein.
In Polish, Ukrainian, and Russian cuisines, sorrel soup may be prepared using any kind of broth instead of water and may be served either hot or chilled. It can also be a kosher food.
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 1 onion, peeled and finely sliced
- 1 large potato, peeled and cubed
- 300g fresh sorrel leaves
- ½ litre vegetable stock
- ½ litre milk
- 1 tablespoon creme fraiche or 1 tablespoon double cream
- 100g frozen garden peas (defrosted)
- salt and pepper, to season
- Heat the oil and add the onion and potato, stirring all the time, cook them until they start to soften. Add the stock & milk, season well with salt and black pepper and bring to the boil.
- Simmer for 10-15 minutes until the potatoes are tender. 2 minutes before the end of cooking, add the sorrel & the creme fraiche or cream. Liquidise the soup.
- Add the peas and simmer without boiling for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the peas are cooked and the soup is hot.
- Serve it chilled OR hot, with croutons and finely chopped sorrel leaves.
- To serve it chilled: Allow it to cool and store in a cool place such as the fridge. Just before serving, add an ice cube to each bowl and pour the soup into the bowl. Garnish as before.