Sorrel Soup

Soupe à l’Oseille

Preparation info

  • Servings:


    • Difficulty


Appears in

Simple French Food

By Richard Olney

Published 1974

  • About

A handful of shredded sorrel, young and tender, will brighten any vegetable or herb soup with its light, clean acidity. A recipe for the academic, but lovely, Germiny, rich, creamy, and egg-yolk-bound, is given in The French Menu Cookbook.

Hot, I prefer this soup unpuréed but, made into a fine purée, the terminal addition of butter eliminated, strengthened a bit in cream, and served chilled, it is another and equally good thing.


  • 6 ounces sorrel (tender, newly formed leaves—if older, they should be parboiled for a couple of seconds before being put to stew in butter)
  • 1 large sweet onion, finely chopped
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1 pound potatoes, quartered lengthwise, finely sliced
  • Salt
  • 1 quart boiling water
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • Pepper
  • Handful chervil leaves (if available) or chopped chives


    Pick over the sorrel, pulling the stems off backwards, taking with them any stringy veins from the leaves, wash, drain, and cut into a chiffonade (coarsely shredded).

    Stew the onions gently in 2 tablespoons butter, stirring, for 15 minutes, until melting-soft but uncolored, add the sorrel, continue cooking until it is “melted,” add the potatoes, stir, and cook together for a few minutes, salt, pour over the boiling water, and cook, covered, at a light boil, for ½ hour. Uncover and continue cooking for 10 minutes, crushing regularly with a wooden spoon or pestle, until the potatoes are reduced to a coarse semipurée. Stir in the cream, return to a boil, remove from the flame, stir in the remaining butter and the pepper, and serve, sprinkled with chervil.