S is for … Sorrel and Courgette Soup

S is for… Summer and S is for… Sorrel and Courgette Soup

I made this summer soup earlier in the week. We sowed sorrel seed earlier in the year as well as buying a couple of small plants and consequently have lots and lots for the first time ever.

When I have made sorrel soup in the past it has always gone a khaki colour and I asked my Twitter friends how to get round this. Lovely Phil, now working as a chef at theloaf, and Geraint a very talented baker and chef, both said

Don’t add the sorrel till the very end and just blitz it in

so that’s what I did. Thanks guys!


Makes plenty for 4 people as a first course

  • 1 medium potato – peeled and chopped into 2 cm chunks
  • 2 largish courgettes (zucchini)  – chopped into chunks
  • 2 small shallots (or other onion)  – peeled and diced
  • 1 large clove of garlic – peeled and sliced
  • A good handful of sorrel leaves from the garden – washed and torn
  • A little butter/olive oil
  • Yoghurt   250 – 500 grams ( a great way to use up an oversupply of home made yoghurt)
  • Water (or chicken or vegetable stock) I can’t give exact quantities as it depends on how much yoghurt you use, I suggest 50/50 yoghurt to water.
  • Salt
  • Ground Pepper
  1. Soften all the vegetables apart from the sorrel in a pan in as little butter or oil as you can get away with. Don’t let the vegetables burn, you are aiming to soften them rather than fry them, maybe for about fifteen minutes. The shallots should look translucent and have changed colour to a light golden yellow and the potato should be cooked through. Nibble a piece if you are not sure.
  2. On a gentle heat add the yoghurt and water and then use a hand blender to whizz to the consistency you like.  You may find you need to add more liquid depending on how it comes out and on how you like your soup.
  3.  If the mixture starts to boil,  turn it down, you want a gentle simmer with the odd pfluff of bubbles popping up. Taste and add salt and pepper to suit your preferences.
  4. If you want a very smoooth soup then pass the mixture through a sieve at this point. I like my soup to have all the fibre in it so I don’t do this very often.
  5. Then five minutes before you want to serve the soup, bring it slowly back to the simmer, and throw in the torn sorrel leaves and use your hand blender once more till they are all chopped up and blended into the soup.

Serve with a swirl of creme fraiche for a piquant summer soup which you can have either hot or cold. It’s delicious both ways!  

What soups do you like making in the summertime? 

and a PS…. Lovely Sorrel Pesto with Courgettes and Mackerel Recipe in The Guardian on Saturday – Ottolenghi fans take note!

21 thoughts on “S is for … Sorrel and Courgette Soup

  1. Yvette

    Looks superb! A great tip for the added star ingredient of this dish. Delicious.
    I don’t make many soups, but I’m having pea and ham tonight, it’s been brewing all day…it’s a chilly Winters day here in Australia. x

    1. Joanna Post author

      Pea and ham is one of my favourites too! We used to have lots of pea and spicy german sausage soup when I was a child (on soup and pancake night in particular).

      Which part of Australia are you in Yvette ? the Sydneysiders were saying it was really warm last week.

      1. emilysincerely

        Add me to the list, I love pea and ham soup in the winter., I usually make it with the ham boane after Thanksgiving, Christmas or Easter ham. YUM!

  2. Nip it in the bud

    oooh this’ll be one to tag for courgette gluts and a thriving sorrel plant.
    I bought mine from Jekka McVicars herb farm and learnt quite a bit about the properties of this ancient plant in the process. Apparently eating sorrel leaves cured Julius Caesar’s soldiers of scurvy and the Ancient Egyptians and Romans ate sorrel to offset their rich diets.

    1. Joanna Post author

      I have never been to Jekka’s farm and always mean to go on one of their open days.
      Sorrel is high in Vit A and C isn’t it? But it’s also got lots of oxalic acid which means it’s not good for people who are prone to kidney stones, and I am sure I read something that said it wasn’t helpful if you had rheumatism or gout. All things in moderation is my basic principle. So rather than eat neat sorrel, use it as here to add a wonderful lemony acidity to a soup. Lemons wouldn’t have been easily available in Roman times in England, would they, unless they grew them here, not sure….so maybe they made the connection between the tastes. Food knowledge goes back a long way even if the modern science side of it is relatively recent.

      I was reading in yesterday’s Guardian magazine this morning (always a day late) that Ottolenghi made sorrel pesto which he served with grilled courgettes and mackerel fillets. That sounds wonderful and I think I might try it very soon!

    1. Joanna Post author

      It makes my mouth pucker up just thinking about how sour it is, I like the idea of parsley soup too :)

  3. Choclette

    This sounds delicious and I’d love to try it. Every year I aim to make sorrel soup and every year, the dock (beetle or whatever it is) gets there before we do. We have, however, been having lots of courgette soup – soup is CTs speciality and it’s different every time.

    1. Joanna Post author

      The bought plants did get a bit nibbled to start with, but we sowed the sorrel seed fairly late and it has done well, I was quite surprised. There was a lovely stuffed courgette recipe in the Guardian as well, haven’t made those in years, but I might give it a whirl :)

  4. heidi

    Lovely- that soup is just the right color and the garnish of cream makes me drool!
    Sorrel does have the perfect lemon tang to go with courgettes.
    (My husband made beef stew while I was gone! It”s a little heavy in the heat- but I’m not complaining- He MADE STEW!!?)

  5. emilysincerely

    what a great S! Your soup is beautiful. I had sorrel growing the past 2 years but lost it this summer. It just couldn’t handle the heat w/o rain here. I will replant.

    1. Joanna Post author

      We planted it in between the carrots and the coriander which both grew taller so it stayed in the shade and was a bit damper maybe. Also I’ve put a couple of plants in with the flowers, just tucked them in here and there, though then I forget where they are. I think our climate is milder than Texas though ;)

    1. Joanna Post author

      It goes limp very quickly once picked so you don’t see it in shops, maybe a farmers market? It grew like a weed in Dad’s old garden, it liked the cool damp conditions of the Lake District.

  6. teawithhazel

    what a great combination of ingredients..i’d forgotten about sorrel so you’ve reminded me that i need to pop a sorrel plant or two in my garden..

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