Photo: Sang An
Creamy Sorrel Soup with Harissa
Eastern European Jews love sorrel—a green that resembles spinach but tastes sour like rhubarb—as the base for a summery soup called schav. Big pots of the summery green get simmered down with water and thickened with beaten egg yolk, then served chilled with sour cream, boiled potato, and chopped fresh radishes and scallions. I personally love schav, but have found that its distinctly old-world flavor is not everyone’s cup of tea. This adaptation whirs the tangy greens and silky cooked potato into a creamy, full-flavored soup that can be served either warm or chilled. A drizzle of harissa (a North African hot chile sauce popular in Israel) adds a spicy, Middle Eastern counter note to this Ashkenazi-inspired dish.
4 Tbsp unsalted butter
2 yellow onions, finely chopped
5 cups vegetable broth
2 medium Russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-in chunks
12 oz sorrel, stemmed and roughly chopped
1 cup heavy cream
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Sour cream or labneh for serving
Harissa for drizzling
1. Melt the butter until foaming in a large saucepan set over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and lightly browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the broth, potatoes, and sorrel, stirring to help the sorrel begin to wilt. (It will seem like too much sorrel at first, but will cook down significantly). Raise the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Then turn the heat to low, cover, and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly.
2. Purée the soup until smooth using an immersion blender, or working in batches in a standard blender. Return the soup to the pan, set over low heat, and whisk in the heavy cream. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
3. To serve warm, divide into bowls, dollop with sour cream, and drizzle with harissa. To serve cold, let the soup cool slightly, then cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or up to 1 day. Divide into bowls, dollop with sour cream, and drizzle with harissa.
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