Instructions were as follows:
I’m asking all bloggers to participate in the blog event A TASTE OF YELLOW by making a dish containing some type of yellow food. This can be anything you like as long it features a yellow food. Some ideas to get you started are lemon, banana, saffron, corn, eggs, cheese.
I bounced ideas in my head–I could make some sort of lemon dessert, with curd. Or something savory with eggs or cheese–the possibilities were endless. But as I poked my head out the side door this morning, the garden sorrel caught my eye. And then I eyed the fresh meyer lemons in the garden.
Gathering the sorrel was an incredible pleasure–whereas last time I’d bought bunches of sorrel from the store, this time I walked out the side door and into my vegetable garden with a pair of shears. Snip, snip, snip. Within a few minutes, I had a good handful of sorrel leaves (I only wish I’d had more sorrel plants, farther along in growth, for more sorrel leaves).
This was the first meal based on my new vegetable garden’s production. Momentous. Just a few weeks ago, my meal was a seedling, carrying the weight of my culinary dreams. And before that, my meal was a seed. Now it was in my hand.
I walked back in the house, tapping the earth off my gardening shoes, sorrel leaves in hand, imagining a light but wholly satisfying lunch. I called our house guest and warned him, “This soup might be a bit sour!” I reassured him that there were other things to eat, should he find this soup too strong.
The sorrel leaves were a bit limp (after all, I hadn’t watered the garden yet today), so I put them in a mug of water while I zested and squeezed the lemons. And, of course, I had to take a picture of the still life.
In very short time, we had a lunch for two. I like to add rice to the broth, and I add a bit of hot water in addition to the chicken broth. Last time, I added swiss chard–this time, with no swiss chard at hand, the only greens in the soup were the rough chiffonade of sorrel leaves. Delish. Very hearty (with the rice) and bright (lemons are always good for providing a bit of brightness) on a foggy summer day in the Bay Area.
And how did my lunch companion find the soup? He took a cautious spoonful, then looked up. “It’s good!” he announced–and proceeded to finish his soup serving. After which, he got up to ladle a second bowl.
The proof–is in the soup.
Recipe adapted from Tea and Cookies follows after the jump…
RECIPE FOR LEMON SORREL SOUP
1 tbs butter
1/2 cup onion, chopped into a small dice
1 tbs all purpose flour
4 cups chicken (or vegetable) stock
2 cups hot water
3 egg yolks
1/4 to 1/2 cup lemon juice (start with 1/4 and add to taste)
1/4 tsp lemon zest (more, if you want to use it as garnish)
2 cups fresh sorrel, washed and dried and cut into 1/2 inch ribbons
optional: swiss chard, washed and dried and cut into ribbons
optional (but not for me): 1 cup of uncooked rice (short grain or long grain, whatever you have on hand)
Put the stock into a small pot and bring to a boil.
In a larger soup pot, melt the butter and add the onions, stirring until the onions begin to turn limp (don’t allow them to brown). Sprinkle in 1 tbs flour and continue to stir gently. Allow to cook another 2 minutes.
Slowly begin to add the boiling stock, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring between additions. When all the stock has been added, bring to a boil, reduce heat, and allow soup to simmer. Add 1 cup of rice.
Stir together the lemon juice and egg yolks. Taking 1 cup of the soup, slowly drizzle it into the lemon-egg mixture, stirring slowly. When this is incorporated and the lemon-egg mixture has warmed slightly, slowly pour the mixture back into the soup, in a small stream, stirring to blend. Add lemon zest and stir. Add the sorrel, stirring it into the soup. Keep warm until serving, but don’t allow to boil or the eggs will curdle.
Garnish with lemon zest and serve.