A friend mentioned the other week that he didn’t think there were any vegetables I disliked. Obviously, right? I thought about it for a minute and was impressed at the number of vegetables that I like now compared to when I was a kid.
My sister and I both always liked artichokes, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts, but I admit we were (are?) odd children. One vegetable I despised: spinach. There was no baby spinach salad or spinach lasagna. Oh, no. We had spinach souffle.
My mom is a great cook, but every once in a while, to punish us for being such wonderful children who ate other vegetables that kids traditionally hate, she would slap down some spongy baked flesh-o’-Swamp-Thing and act surprised every time we refused to eat the least-appetizing side dish ever created. Shocking.
You can understand, then, why I was filled with trepidation when I made this soup — a soup which bears a suspicious resemblance to the spinach souffle of my nightmares. Luckily, there are differences, most notably that the soup tastes fantastic.
Instead of fixating on physical appearance, let’s focus on its sparkling
personality flavors, shall we?
This is not your typical warming, hearty winter soup. There are few ingredients, the star being the bright, citrus-y sorrel from my recent CSA share. Sorrel is a tasty plant often characterized as an herb instead of a leafy green. Strong-flavored greens are also packed with fiber and great for digestion, so they’re the perfect base for a spring cleaning of your diet!
To accentuate the flavor of the sorrel I stirred in some tangy plain yogurt, but it could easily be omitted to keep this soup vegan. A sprinkle of raw cashew pieces adds crunch, and a green garnish adds a nice freshness to the cooked greens. I have a huge bunch of gorgeous flat-leaf parsley that I used first, but the flavor was a bit too assertive. The little bit of cilantro I had left was a much better complement to the sorrel. Basil might be nice, too — if you try it, let me know what you think.
Oh, did I mention that it takes less than 20 minutes to throw together?
My sorrel came from my CSA and is probably easiest to find at farmer’s markets, better grocery stores, natural foods stores, or Whole Foods. It only keeps for a few days in the fridge, so buy it right before you want to use it.
Another veggie I refused to eat as a kid was rutabaga. What kind of name is rutabaga? In Europe I guess they call them “swedes.” What veggie did you hate as a kid that you like now?
Quick and Easy Springtime Sorrel Soup
Makes 2 bowls or 3-4 cups of soup
Since this soup is so light it would be best served with a big salad or as an appetizer. To make it vegan, omit yogurt and use vegan sour cream, or use unsweetened non-dairy milk of your choice.
If you don’t have enough sorrel, supplement with chard, spinach, arugula, or even non-iceberg lettuce. If you don’t have any sorrel, use other greens and add the zest and juice of a lemon.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 medium onion, chopped
- 2 packed cups chopped sorrel, stems removed
- 2 cups vegetable broth (I use Rapunzel Organic Vegetable Bouillon)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup plain yogurt or milk
- 2 tablespoons chopped cashews (optional)
- 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro (optional)
- Heat the olive oil in a 2-quart pot over medium heat. Add onions and cook, stirring a few times, until onions are translucent. Add sorrel and stir until wilted. Add stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 7-10 minutes until greens are tender. Remove from heat.
- Use an immersion blender or, in batches, use a blender to puree soup to desired consistency. Taste and add salt if needed.
- Swirl in yogurt or milk, ladle into bowls, and top with garnish if desired. Serve immediately.