Spring Sorrel Soup, “Potage Germiny”

sorrelsoup

Early Memories of Sorrel Soup

My first job beyond babysitting was at 12 years old at a print shop in San Francisco, HJ Carl & Sons, on Capp Street. We constructed,  deconstructed, and hung metal print plates, flyers, and posters of recipes for local restaurants every Saturday.

Lunch was delivered warm from Jack’s restaurant, and every week we had creamy rich yet light lemony sorrel soup. I have tried to recreate it many a time, and I finally came close to duplicating it.

What is Sorrel?

Sorrel, also known as sheep sorrel, is a weed. It grows abundantly in spring, in perfect harmony with the Chinese elemental correspondence of Spring-Liver-Sour flavor.  sheep-sorrel1

You can find patches where it is big leaved—the Broad Street Cemetery is a great place. You may have it growing in your yard! I harvested sorrel from my dear friend Liz’s garden.

Sorrel is high in vitamin C and antioxidants. Its sour flavor astringes fluids. The fluids are yin, water that we store up from the wet moist winters.

We store our yin so that we have enough to keep us from overheating through the spring and summer. Too much sour can dry out the ligaments and tendons, so check your sour cravings.

Western Versus Chinese Health Benefits

In western herbalism, bitter is the flavor associated with the Liver. On the other hand, Bitter in Chinese medicine corresponds to the heart.

It is important to keep the heart cool and drained for liver health, but some people cannot tolerate bitter, for it cools and drains too much when they are in need of nourishing to their Liver.

Oxalic Acid

There is a buzz of concern about oxalic acids being a health hazard, for these acids can leach calcium from the bones.

Oxalic acid is neutralized by lemon juice or a little apple cider vinegar, so it is always important to combine your sorrel, spinach, or chard (and other greens containing oxalic acids) with fat and protein.

This soup is the perfect whole meal, yet light enough to give your digestive system a rest after the richer winter diet.

Sorrel Soup Recipe

  1. Sauté 1/2 yellow onion in 2 Tbsp butter
  2. Add in 2–3 cups washed, chopped sorrel
  3. Sauté sorrel in 3-5 Tbsp butter.
  4. When the leaves are wilted, add 5 cups stock. The best stock is chicken, though I have made it with beef.
  5. Remove from heat and add a small amount of the soup to 1/2 cup cream and 3 beaten egg yolks.
  6. Combine all ingredients and heat until the soup thickens slightly, but do not boil. I puree my soup, for that was how I had it at Mr. Carl’s.
  7. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Variations With Meatballs

My Lithuanian friend Aruna grew up growing rows and rows of sorrel and eating sorrel soup all the time in the spring. Her family did not blend it, and they sometimes added meatballs.

Support for Health and Vitality

I encourage you to explore the wonders of easy to grow and abundant wild foods to support your health and vitality. Our wild greens have a greater mineral value and life force for they thrive and adapt without our care.  Bon appetite!

 

 

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