Friday, July 17, 2009


Schav (Or, Cold Sorrel Soup)

For you, my peaches, we have a photo and recipe for a summery sorrel soup that has always been much maligned due to it’s fantastically unsavory color.

(So sad!)

It is a dish with a color that exists somewhere between not-so-plucky army green and decidedly cringe-worthy, cement grey.

Something one associates with World War 2 era British school dinners and/or prison food. (Or, as Sam called it, "Sludge taken from Shrek's swamp.") So…in other words…it lacks a certain visual appeal.

But that color, what-ever-it-is, is a deceptive little shade of…um…not-so-pretty, because the soup itself is really extra terrific. It packs a bit of pow in that drab dress coat. It is bright and sour and creamy and cold and unexpectedly divine.

And not only is it a wee bit hard on the eyes, and oh so very easy on the palate, but it is also a very humble Russian peasant soup (when called schav) and at the same time, a very upscale French delicacy known as soupe a l’oseille. Go figure. One soup, two ends of the culinary spectrum.

But names and looks aside, it really is one of the best things you can eat on a hot day. Simple to make, and simple to eat. You will thank me for this recipe and I promise, after the first sip, you will have a whole new opinion of that old maxim that we eat with our eyes.

Now try this my peaches, and taste the joy.

2 T olive oil
3 pounds sorrel leaves (I used a mix of French sorrel and red sorrel from my garden)
2 quarts water
1 large baking potato, peeled and diced
Salt and pepper
1 T lemon juice
3 eggs , beaten
1 cucumber, sliced (for garnish)
Dill sprigs (also for garnish)

Heat olive oil in a large soup pot, over medium heat. Add the potato and cook (stirring often) 5 minutes. Add sorrel and water and bring to a boil. Let cook about 30 minutes.

Whisk together three egg yolks, temper with the hot soup, and whisk it all into soup. Return to the stove and cook for 3 more minutes. (Do not boil, or the eggs will scramble.)

Working in batches, carefully puree the soup in a blender.

Taste, adjust seasoning and add lemon juice as needed. Chill. Garnish with cucumber slices and dill sprigs and serve.

(Some people like this with a dollop of yogurt or sour cream, too.)

© 2009 Fresh Approach Cooking

© 2009 Rachael at "Fresh Approach Cooking" If you are not reading this at the aforementioned URL or in your RSS feed, the site you are looking at are violating my copyright. And that's rude.

Story and recipe for schav from The Jew and the Carrot

What is it about the Tamra Davis Cooking Show that has me coming back for more?

The common sorrel, or spinach dock, is a perennial herb, which grows abundantly in meadows in most parts of Europe and is cultivated as a leaf vegetable. Because of the mildly acidic taste, it quenches thirst, and may be helpful in boosting the appetite. Wiki

Labels: , , , ,

I have eaten this soup since I was a little girl. After cooking the schav in water and sometimes chicken broth, I just add sour cream and no eggs. Having plenty of garnish (chopped cucumbers, scallions, and dill) helps first-timers get past the color. I serve this and cold summer borscht (with same garnish)has a pair of Russian "gazpachos". I'm glad to see that others are taking advantage of an easy to grow green.
Post a Comment

<< Home
Post a Comment

<< Home
... Chefs Blogs

... Click for Beverly Hills, California Forecast

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

All of the original words and pictures on this site are copyrighted property. (So there. Nyah.) With that in mind, please ask permission first and give due credit, if you plan on reproducing any part of it. Thanks so much!

2003-2008 COPYRIGHT (C) Fresh Approach Cooking