Lemony sorrel tempers creamy parsnip’s sweetness in this easy soup recipe, and the addition of a little cream mellows both vegetables. The color is a pale olive green, accented with a bit of bright-green, raw sorrel. You could also include chives, another crop that’s quick to emerge in spring.
Those who prefer a chunkier soup can leave all or some of the vegetables chopped rather than puréed. You could substitute vegetable stock for chicken broth, and trade olive oil for butter. You can also omit the cream entirely, or use half-and-half instead, when cooking up this easy soup recipe.
• 1 tbsp butter
• 1 large onion, about 1-1/2 cups, chopped
• 4 cups unsalted chicken stock
• 1 cup white wine
• 1 pound parsnips, unpeeled and cut into chunks, about 3-1/2 cups
• 2 bay leaves
• 1 tsp ground cardamom
• 1 tsp dried or 1 tbsp fresh marjoram leaves
• 1 tsp salt
• Freshly ground black pepper
• 1 large bunch sorrel, de-stemmed (12 ounces, or about 2 cups)
• 1 cup heavy cream
1. Melt the butter in a large saucepan or Dutch oven and add the onion. Sauté over low heat for 5 minutes. Add the chicken stock, wine, parsnips, bay leaves, cardamom, marjoram, salt and pepper. Simmer 15 to 20 minutes, or until the parsnips are extremely tender. Fish out and discard the bay leaves.
2. Wash and spin-dry the sorrel, reserving 4 leaves (6 if small). Add the rest to the cooked mixture, and simmer 5 minutes more. Purée the soup in batches with a blender or food processor.
3. Return the soup to the pan and reheat to a simmer. Add the cream and stir to incorporate. Bring the soup up to a simmer again, but don’t boil. Taste for salt and add as needed. Chiffonade the reserved sorrel leaves. Ladle the creamy parsnip soup into individual bowls and garnish with a little tangle of sorrel ribbons.
Want to learn more about cooking with Parsnips and Sorrel? Read Growing and Cooking with Parsnips and Sorrel for more information and delicious recipes.
Barbara Damrosch writes at Four Season Farm in Maine, where spring comes late and sorrel’s early greening in the garden is much welcomed. She and her husband, Eliot Coleman, are co-authors of The Four Season Farm Gardener’s Cookbook.