Cook: In a Class of Your Own
by Richard Bertinet
This is a different style of soup—creamy, but still full of spring and summer flavors, thanks to the tangy, lemony sorrel. When sorrel is out of season you could make this soup with spinach instead. It is the kind of thing that you don't need a huge portion of: just a small cup makes a lovely appetizer. It also makes a good sauce, which I discovered almost by accident when I had a little left over. I served it with some grilled fish and it was great.
INGREDIENTS (For 4)
• 1/2 lb new potatoes
• 1 small shallot
• 6 oz sorrel
• 2 cups light vegetable stock or water
• 3 tablespoons butter
• sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 2 egg yolks (preferably free-range)
• 1/2 cup heavy cream or creme fraiche
• drizzle of almond or walnut oil (optional), to serve
• Scrub or peel the potatoes and cut into rough 1/2 inch cubes.
• Finely chop the shallot.
• Wash the sorrel and dry in a kitchen towel or salad spinner.
• Heat the stock (or water) on the stove ready to go.
1. Put the butter in a large, heavy-bottomed pan over low heat and add the potatoes and shallot. Allow the butter to melt and let the vegetables cook very slowly without coloring for a good 10 minutes.
2. Put in the sorrel and stir until it wilts, then add your hot stock (or water). Taste and season as you think is necessary, then simmer very slowly until the potatoes are soft.
3. Don't let the soup boil, since too high a heat will cause it to lose its lovely fresh flavor.
4. While the soup is simmering, put the egg yolks and cream or creme fraiche into a bowl and whisk together.
5. When the potatoes are soft (after about 8 minutes), take the pan off the stove. If you have a handheld blender, use it to mix everything really well. Otherwise, put the soup into a blender, process, and pour it back into the pan.
6. Add the cream and egg mixture and stir it in well. Return to the heat and simmer gently without boiling for 4-5 minutes. The soup will thicken a little and the eggs and cream will give it an unctuous texture and flavor.
7. Taste again, to see if you need a little more salt or pepper. Now turn off the heat and allow the soup to cool down slightly so that it is almost at room temperature. If you serve the soup too hot, you won't be able to taste the delicate flavor of the sorrel properly Serve in small cups, with a little nut oil swirled over the top (if using).