In a minuscule backyard in downtown Charleston, I kept two sorrel plants to provide me with a sour treat about once a month. Some years the plants made it through our winters; seldom were they completely killed. Growing up in the Lowcountry, I loved to chew on the wild “sourgrass” that grew in open fields and along roadsides, but it wasn’t until I lived in France that I learned about the cultivated French variety of Rumex that used to be a part of every Charleston kitchen garden.
In this particularly rich version of the classic French soup, both egg yolks and cream are added. I prefer it cold, but it may be served hot, and the simple puree need not be thickened with the dairy products at all.
Bring the stock, sorrel, and leeks to a boil in a saucepan, reduce the heat, and simmer, uncovered, for 10 to 15 minutes. Puree in a blender or food processor in batches. Mix the yolks with the cream and add spoonfuls of the hot puree to the cream mixture a little at a time. Then add the cream to the soup, correct the seasoning, and serve either hot or cold. Garnish each serving with a small fresh sorrel leaf and serve with cheese pigs.
© 1992 All rights reserved. Published by UNC Press.