Sorrel Soup


  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus 1 to 1 ½ tablespoons, softened
  • 1/3 cup minced onion
  • 3 cups packed sorrel leaves, washed, dried, and cut into thin strips
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 6 cups Basic Chicken Stock (recipe follows), boiling
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • Creme fraiche or sour cream, for serving
  • Fresh chervil, chopped, for serving
  • Chicken Stock
    • For flavor base:
    • 5 pounds assorted chicken parts (backs, necks, legs, and wings), rinsed
    • For aromatics:
    • 2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped into 2 inch lengths
    • 2 celery stalks, chopped into 2 inch lengths
    • 2 medium onions, peeled and cut into quarters
    • 2 dried bay leaves
    • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns


  1. For the Soup
    1. In a large saucepan, melt 3 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Add onion and cook, without browning, until softened, 6 to 8 minutes. Add sorrel and season with ½ teaspoon salt. Stir over low heat for about 5 minutes.
    2. Sprinkle over flour and cook, stirring, over moderate heat for 5 minutes. Stir in boiling stock. Simmer for 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
    3. In a small bowl, beat yolks lightly with cream. Whisking constantly, slowly pour 1 cup hot stock mixture into egg mixture, the return back to saucepan. Do not let soup boil after egg yolks have been added or yolks will curdle.
    4. Stir in softened butter and serve hot with a dollop of creme fraiche and chervil.
    5. Note: if you are serving the soup cold, do not add the softened butter at the end.
  2. For the Chicken Stock
    1. This recipe will make 2 ½ Quarts
    2. Place chicken parts in a stockpot just large enough to hold them with about 3 inches of room above (an 8-quart pot should do) and add enough water to cover by 1 inch (about 3 quarts). Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, using a ladle to skim impurities and fat that rise to the top.
    3. Add vegetables, bay leaf, and peppercorns and reduce heat to a bare simmer (bubbles should just gently break the surface). Cook, skimming frequently, for at least 1 ½ hours and up to 4 hours.
    4. Pass the stock through a cheesecloth-lined sieve into a large heatproof measuring cup or another bowl or pot; do not press on solids. Discard solids.
    5. Skim off fat if using immediately, or let cool completely (in an ice-water bath, if desired) before transferring to airtight containers. Refrigerate at least 8 hours to allow the fat to accumulate at the top; lift off and discard fat before using or storing stock. The stock can be refrigerated up to 3 days or frozen up to 3 months; thaw completely in the refrigerator before using.