If You Can't Kill It You Might As Well Eat It!

by | Wednesday, May 22, 2013 | 0 comment(s)

One of my favorite fresh herbs is sorrel.  I imagine that I first became interested in it because it was old fashioned and seemed some how mystical.  I found a sorrel plant at the Portland Farmer’s Market a number of years ago when I kept a community garden spot in Payson Park.  Well, a couple of years ago I gave up the spot.  And I moved the poor thing into a container.  And there it has resided through two Maine winters, exposed, on the walkway, uncared for, neglected, un-watered, and if I’m honest I ‘d have to admit that I was kind of hoping it might expire.  If it passed out of the world I could compost it and not have to worry about this unsightly thing.

Though there it was in early spring, the first tender green leaves ready to add levity and good cheer to any dish.

I have to admit, the plant isn’t really ugly but it does have a weed like appearance and I wonder if the mail person is curious why the folks at this house don’t mow their lawn and why they grow weeds in plant pots.

Looks aside, sorrel is delicious and (obviously) hardy.  It’s one of the first plants up in the spring. Its fresh, bright, lemony tang is a welcome respite from the winter doldrums.  There are two dishes I make with sorrel: omelets and lentil soup.

For an omelet simply chop and melt the sorrel in butter; it’s like spinach and it melts into a kind of a paste.  Use a scant tablespoon’s worth for the filling of a simple French omelet.  Don’t be too heavy handed: Sorrel can overpower your palette.

I made the lentil soup the other night Elizabeth David (from her book on Provence) uses ¼ lb of lentils, ¼ of sorrel, water and butter, and that’s it, and it’s very good!!

Using one of the leeks I picked up on sale this is what I did:

  • 1 Leek: minced
  • 2 Medium Carrots: small dice
  • 1 Cup of Brown Lentils (washed and picked over)
  • 1 Very good handful of fresh Sorrel leaves (you can use Watercress)
  • Water
  • Butter
  • Salt &Pepper


Sauté the leeks and carrots in butter until the leeks are nice and soft.  Add the lentils and water, about a quart (I like a brothy lentil soup).  Bring to a boil; turn down to a simmer. Sorrel in butter

Clean and chop the sorrel, melt it in butter. 

When the lentils are just about done add the sorrel.  In Elizabeth David’s lentil soup she has you blend it at this point and add a couple of tablespoons of butter (My immersion blender is broken so I used my potato masher a bit and then whisked it).  Adjust seasonings.

This was a delicious soup.

 I even took it to work for lunch a couple of times and didn’t get tired of it--now that’s something!


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