This Polish recipe for sorrel soup or zupa szczawiowa (ZOO-pah shchtah-vee-YOH-vah) can be made in many different ways. This is just one variation. Fresh parsley adds extra flavor, potatoes give the soup some heft, and sour cream adds delicious creaminess and a slight tang.
Throughout Eastern Europe, sorrel is both domesticated and grown wild, and spring is the best time to pick the young, tender leaves. Sorrel finds its way into soups, sauces (especially with salmon), stuffings and, when young and tender, it is eaten raw in salads similar to baby spinach.
Sorrel is high in vitamin A and contains some calcium, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, and vitamin C, making it a healthy main ingredient for soup. Serve for a hot lunch or a light dinner with some crusty bread on the side.
- 6 cups cold water
- 1 large carrot (peeled and sliced)
- 1 bunch fresh parsley
- 3 medium potatoes (peeled and cubed)
- 1 bouillon cube (chicken or vegetable; or 1 tablespoon Vegeta)
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1/2 pound fresh sorrel (washed, stemmed as for spinach and chopped)
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- Salt (to taste)
- Freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
- Fresh dill (or parsley, chopped)
- 2 hard-cooked eggs (cut into quarters)
Gather the ingredients.
In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, add the cold water, carrots, and parsley and bring to a boil over high heat, covered.
Add the potatoes, bouillon cube, and bay leaf and bring back to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the vegetables are tender.
In a large skillet, melt the butter and sauté the sorrel for 10 minutes.
Transfer to the soup and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and remove the bay leaf.
In a heatproof bowl or measuring cup, use a fork to blend the sour cream with the flour.
Temper by adding a few ladles of hot soup, whisking constantly until smooth.
Transfer tempered sour cream-flour mixture to the soup pot, stir well. Season with salt and pepper.
Simmer until thickened and just under the boiling point. Taste and adjust the seasonings.
Portion the soup into heated bowls and garnish with chopped dill or parsley and hard boiled egg quarters.
- In Russia and Ukraine, sorrel soup is known as shchavelya sup, but is more commonly just called schav. This recipe for schav borscht is a Jewish version which can be eaten hot or cold, and it's a good candidate for Passover.
- Polish spring beet soup is known as botwinka. It is made with young, spring beets and their green tops that have a spinach-kale flavor. In addition to being a taste sensation, the soup is packed with antioxidants along with vitamins A and C.