Sorrel soup – a sign of progress

A year ago I’d never heard of sorrel. Now I have pot of it growing in the garden.

Sorrel is a delicious leafy green vegetable with quite a sharp, acidic taste. I received a cutting of it at the first garden harvest swap I attended in February this year.

Since then I’ve watched it grow from a single cutting into a large bush.

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The sorrel cutting is in the tin, marked with arrows. The next photo below shows the transformation.
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French sorrel in a pot in the courtyard garden

The leaves are such a vibrant colour and have a silk-like texture to them. The usual pests don’t seem to like them either, making it a fairly hassle free plant in the garden.

According to Barbara Hey’s book, A South African Guide to Herbs, the sorrel I have is known as French sorrel, Rumex acetosa. The book advises that it be cooked gently, as you would cook spinach.

Hey writes that sorrel has medicinal uses too. It’s good for alleviating inflammation in joints due to the high acidic content. When crushed it can also be used for nettle stings and insect bites.

My dad was in town for work last week and I decided it was a great opportunity to make a batch of French-style sorrel soup.

I used a recipe from Honest Food by Hank Shaw. It was pretty straightforward except for the part of thickening with egg yolks – this is tricky as the eggs can scramble if not tempered correctly.

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I used about 16 sorrel leaves and it made enough soup for four people (starter portion)
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Spring onions from the garden

The soup tastes a lot better than it looks. I’ll definitely make it again and maybe try a different recipe.

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Creamy French-style sorrel soup
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My dad, Charl, enjoying some of the soup made with fresh greens from the garden

Sometimes, when I get impatient with new plants in the garden not growing as fast as I’d like, it’s moments like this that make me realise how much I’ve learnt and in just a few months.

This is progress 🙂

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