Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Mastering the Art of French Cooking: Potage Crème d’Oseille (Cream of Sorrel Soup)

I finally located some sorrel to use in this soup! You would not believe how difficult it is to find sorrel in the modern supermarket. It makes me wonder if it was much more plentiful in Julia's day. As it is, I only managed to find it in the small herb clamshells for $3 an ounce. If I made the whole recipe, needing 3 cups of sorrel, I probably would have spent my entire paycheck.

The soup is very similar to the cream of spinach and cream of watercress soups that I made previously. It's a chicken broth base with added cream, egg yolk, and butter. The sorrel has a pleasant leafy herb smell, with a little spicy note. The finished soup has a slightly sour flavor from the leaves. It's definitely something different.

Potage Crème d’Oseille (Cream of Sorrel Soup)
From Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child, Louisette Bertholle, and Simone Beck

⅓ cup minced green onions, or yellow onions
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 to 4 packed cups fresh sorrel, washed and dried in a towel, cut into chiffonade
½ teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
5½ cups boiling white stock or canned chicken broth
2 large egg yolks
½ cup whipping cream
1 to 2 tablespoons softened unsalted butter

Cook the onions slowly in the butter in a covered saucepan for 5 to 10 minutes, until tender and translucent but not browned.  Stir in the sorrel and salt, cover, and cook slowly for about 5 minutes or until the leaves are tender and wilted. Sprinkle in the flour and stir over moderate heat for 3 minutes.  Off heat, beat in the boiling stock. Simmer for 5 minutes.  Correct seasoning.

Blend the yolks and cream in a mixing bowl. Beat a cupful of hot soup into them by driblets. Gradually beat in the rest of the soup in a thin stream. Return soup to saucepan and stir over moderate heat for a minute or two to poach the egg yolks, but do not bring the soup to a simmer. Off heat, stir in the enrichment butter a tablespoon at a time.

Makes 6 servings

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