Sorrel is a slender herbaceous perennial plant about 60 cm (24 in) high, with roots that run deep into the ground, as well as juicy stems and edible, arrow-shaped leaves. The leaves, when consumed raw, have a tart, lemon-y taste.
Rumex acetosa occurs in grassland habitats throughout Europe from the northern Mediterranean coast to northern Scandinavia and in parts of Central Asia. It occurs as an introduced species in parts of New Zealand, Australia and North America.
Common sorrel has been cultivated for centuries. The leaves may be pureed in soups and sauces or added to salads; they have a flavour that is similar to kiwifruit or sour wild strawberries. The plant’s sharp taste is due to oxalic acid.
Sorrel is used in a number of dishes including stews, soups and salads. The Troisgros bothers of France invented “salmon escalope” with sorrel sauce in 1962 which was emblematic of French nouvelle cuisine.
We grow common (aka French) sorrel in our garden. It is a hardy cold weather preferring plant that grows quickly in early spring. Its growth slows down during the heat of summer then picks up again in the fall. Sorrel is one of the last plants to succumb to frost in November.
We use it to prepare Sorrel soup in the spring and fall. Europe has several versions of this soup. Ours is a simple potato based soup we believe comes from France. The silky green soup has a tart lemony flavor. The tartness can be enhance or reduced depending on the amount of raw sorrel leaves you add before pureeing.
Sorrel; 2 – 3 spinach sized bunches
1- 2 Onions
1 – 2 Med Potatoes
Water to cover potatoes
Seasoning (Salt, 1 stock cube)