Sunday, June 14, 2009

Sorrel & Lovage Soup with Carrot Mint Puree

This is not the prettiest looking soup but the contrast amongst the various flavours more than makes up for the appearance.

Sorrel and lovage are hardy, spring perennials and ones you can rely on to eat early. Sorrel has a unique sour taste that is refreshing in soup. If you don't have it you can still make this soup using another green like kale, spinach or Swiss chard. Lovage usually replaces celery but in smaller amounts as it has a stronger flavour.

This recipe makes 8 large servings - about 2 cups/500 ml each

1 Tbsp olive oil - 15 ml
1 onion, red, large, chopped
4 cups sorrel leaves, shredded - 1 liter
4 cups potatoes, diced - 1 liter
1/2 cup lovage, sliced (substitute celery) - 125 ml
1 bay leaf
8 cups vegetable broth, preferably home-made - 2 liters
1/2 tsp salt - 2.5 ml
1/2 tsp pepper - 2.5 ml

Carrot Mint Puree:
2 cups carrots, diced - 500 ml
2 cups vegetable broth - 500 ml
2 Tbsp garden mint, minced - 30 ml

Garnish: 1/2 cup chives, minced - 125 ml

1. Saute diced onions in olive oil over medium-high heat for approximately 5 minutes. Use a soup pot that has a lid. Then add the shredded sorrel, diced potatoes, sliced lovage and bay leaf and saute another few minutes. Add broth, cover and cook until the potatoes are tender.
2. Meanwhile make the carrot puree - cook diced carrots in broth in a small pot. Puree and season with finely minced gardent mint. Set aside.
3. Remove the soup from the heat and puree half of the soup. Return to heat and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. If you use a commercial vegetable broth you might not need the salt. Home-made is best!
4. To serve, ladel soup in bowl and place a scoop of the the carrot puree in the centre. Garnish each bowl with freshly snipped chives.

Optional additions: dill, garlic, oregano and/or rosemary. You can substitute lettuce, spinach or Swiss chard for all or some of the sorrel. Add a dollop of sour cream or yogurt as a garnish.

NUTRITION FACTS: 140 calories, 5 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 520 mg sodium, 26 g carbohydrate, 6 g fibre, 6 g sugar, 5 g protein. %Daily Values are 180% vitamin A, 60% vitamin C, 8% iron and 15% calcium.

© Nancy Guppy, RD, MHSc

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