Four Ways with Sorrel

My vegetable patch is not large.  In order to utilise this small space to its best advantage and be sure of a year round harvest very careful planning was required.  Diagrams had to be drawn, growing guides consulted and crop areas carefully marked out.  That I failed to even attempt any of these entirely explains why my cabbage is crowding my Brussel’s spouts, why my sweetpeas are taking up a third of the garden and why I grew more rocket than myself and everyone I’ve ever met could eat. 

Still, I always said this year of growing was pure experiment; a year to learn from all my disasters.  Next year will be the time for careful planning.

My sorrel is going the same way as the rocket.  I planted a row of this bitter herb purely because I had never tasted it before (it’s not available in the shops at all) and it has done exceptionally well.  Too well, in fact!  I don’t know what to do with it all!

Earlier in the week I asked for sorrel recipe ideas.  Deb suggested salad or soup, John suggested sauce and Rosa suggested a sandwich.  This week I have tried using sorrel in all four ways .  The sandwich I blogged about earlier in the week was a different one to Rosa’s suggestion but I’ll be trying out the sorrel and blue cheese idea next week. 

Why not this week?  Because I’m slightly sorrel-ed out!

Sorrel Soup

(Adapted from Margaret Costa’s recipe as found in Jane Grigson’s Vegetable Book)

This is perhaps my favourite sorrel recipe.  The bright, sharp, lemony taste of the sorrel made this a very refreshing soup.  Highly recommended.

25 g butter

1/2 onion, finely chopped


Pinch of nutmeg

2 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into 2cm chunks

700ml vegetable or chicken stock

Big bunch of sorrel

Creme fraiche and chives to garnish

  • Melt the butter in a pan and add the onion.  Cook until soft. 
  • Add the potato, seasoning and nutmeg.  Stir and cook for one minute.
  • Add the stock.  Cover and simmer until potatoes are soft.
  • Blend until smooth.  Add the sorrel and blend again.  DO NOT COOK FURTHER – unless you want a greyish green soup.
  • Serve with a blob of creme fraiche and chopped chives.

Sorrel, Spinach and Olive Salad

I initially included artichoke hearts in this salad but, on tasting the dish, they seemed unnecessary.  The saltiness of the olives and anchovies work really well with the bitter sorrel.

Handful of sorrel leaves

Handful of spinach leaves

Handful of olives stuffed with anchovies

2 tblspns of pumpkin seeds

For the dressing:

1/4 lemon

1 tblspn olive oil

Black pepper

  • Mix dressing ingredients well.
  • Add to sorrel, spinach and olives.  Mix gently.
  • Sprinkle with pumpkin seeds.


Sorrel Sauce

I tried several versions of this sauce and the best was the simplest and the unhealthiest.  Figures.

Served this with grilled cod, roasted asparagus and roasted new potatoes.

100 ml creme fraiche or whipping creme

Tblspn sorrel

Tblspn parsley

Black pepper

  • Heat the creme in a pan. 
  • When almost boiling remove from heat and add herbs and black pepper.
  • Serve immediately.

So where’s the picture for the last recipe?  Well, my camera has just died. Awful.   Hurray!  My camera has resurrected itself.  Not convinced it will last long though.    Does anyone have any camera recommendations?  Digital camera advice, I should add.

8 thoughts on “Four Ways with Sorrel

  1. Wendy, both the soup and the sald looks lovely. I don’t think that I’ve eaten sorrel before. Or maybe I have but didn’t know that it was sorrel 😉 I’ll have to investigate the market to see if i can find any…..

  2. Soup looks great! If I can find sorrel again, I certainly will try – salad too! Such a great “not often used” veggie! Sorry about your camera! I just got a new one myself a few weeks ago. So far I like it except I still have not figured out all the “bells and whistles”. I bought a Canon EOS 30D. A little pricy but I wanted one that would last me for awhile and one that had all the “bells and whistles”!

  3. Hi Wendy,
    that soup looks tasty! It is a pity we are back in soup weather again! I suppose soup is always good, but seems to taste better, when it is wet and miserable outside!

    I have tagged you for a meme, how you don’t mind and will join in. Let me know.

  4. Nora B – Will be interesting to hear if you do find it. I’ve never come across it in the shops before.

    Deb – Thanks for the camera advice! Will take a look at your recommendation.

    Holler – The soup was extremely good. The colour was more vivid than I managed to capture. A beautiful bright green.
    Will do the meme soon!

  5. Your sorrel looks lovely! I don’t have any in my herb garden – maybe next year, with careful planning….
    The salad looks great but I really love the sauce! That would be good on almost everything…., well, everything savory, anyway….

  6. Katiez – I’m glad I planted it though next year I will stagger the planting so as not to have a huge amount ready at once.
    The sauce was lovely. VERY simple but lovely, nonetheless.

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