POTATO-SORREL SOUP (POTAGE A L'OSEILLE)

Something you can dream about all winter.

For this soup, you must use the Rumex (Dock) type sorrel, not Oxalis, which is Wood Sorrel. Wood Sorrel typically has yellow flowers (this one has pink) and clover-like leaves. Learn to identify the plant when it comes up in the spring--it tastes better before it flowers.

Rumex hastatulus is the edible local species. (Note: Sorrel is high in oxalic acid; avoid it if you are prone to kidney stones.)

1 1/2 cups fresh sorrel, leaves only
6 potatoes
6 cups chicken broth (canned or home-made)
1 cup chopped onion (yellow onions are best)
1 cup heavy cream (what the heck!)
1 tablespoon butter or margarine

Rinse and dry sorrel, cut into thin shreds. Peel potatoes, cut into chuncks, and cook in chicken broth (about 20 min.). Mash or blend the potatoes with the broth. (This produces a blender which must be cleaned immediately!) Saute' onion in butter or margarine, add to soup. Stir in sorrel and cream. Simmer 20 min. Salt and pepper to taste.

This recipe makes quite a bit, but halves well.

This recipe was first made known to me in the spring of 1988 by a student in one of A&M's Economic Botany classes. Each student is required to prepare a dish using some sort of unusual botanical ingredient. I have since made this soup for subsequent groups, always to rave reviews.

Monique Reed