Sorrel Asparagus Soup


Soup season may be considered to be later in the year, but when weather is as unpredictable as it is in a Midwestern spring, I say start with soup.

Soup is a wonderful vehicle for many flavors, and especially when you have a lot of mish-mash that you aren't sure how they go together like you would find in your journey of eating seasonally.

This is an excellent starter to the season when all you see are fresh and green and new. Late spring and early summer are my second-favorite moments in the year, next to late fall when pumpkins and apples are ripe with bounty. Don't be intimidated by sorrel! It's quite sour, but that can be put to your advantage. Allow me to explain a simple trick that - I hope - you'll use throughout your cooking life:

"If, when tasting something, you feel as if something is missing but you're not sure what ... add a dash of acidity!"

No, really! Be it a squeeze of lemon, a dollop of sour cream, a little drizzle of honey(which is actually a little sour), or some bright and sour greens such as sorrel. I ask you to not be intimidated by sorrel, as it's something we often don't eat in America. You'll find a lot of it in French cuisine, especially salads and vinaigrette-laden things. You can also find classical French recipes for sorrel potato soup. Potatoes aren't really ripe for me, yet, so we're using my other spring favorite treasure: asparagus!

Asparagus is grassy and bitter, which is perfect for the sour notes of sorrel. I think you'll find this soup is very well-balanced and not heavy at all. All in all, this tastes of spring!

Sorrel Asparagus Soup

  • 2 green garlic stalk, finely chopped
  • 1 bunch red veined sorrel, de-veined of the thick stems, and chopped
  • 1 bunch asparagus, chopped
  • 1 can coconut milk + 1 can water
  • 1/3 c cooking wine 
    • White wine is fine, but I used this yummy rice-based liquor wine that I get from the Asian market near me
  • 1/4 c mirin
  • 2 cups spinach
  • A sprig of fresh mint (about 6 or 7 leaves)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Sesame oil, to serve
Start by sweating your green garlic stalk in either a generous amount of warm oil or butter. I used my favorite vegan butter that I get from Trader Joe's, but whatever you have is just fine, so long as it's neutral in flavor. Sweat for 10 minutes, or until soft and translucent, and add in your chopped sorrel and asparagus. Stir vigorously and add the mirin and cooking wine. Reduce by half and add your coconut milk and your water. Bring to a boil and reduce it to a simmer and allow to cook for another 10 minutes. Turn off your heat and let sit for another 15 minutes. 

The liquid is going to turn pink-ish when you make it. Don't worry!

Transfer your soup to the pitcher of a blender and add in your spinach and mint. Blend slowly first, then gradually get up to high, until your soup is fully pureed and creamy. Flavor is a large factor in this, of course, but it's also for color. I'm sure you noticed that the soup turned a rather ghastly brown until the spinach helped turn it to a more pleasing olive green. 

You can serve this soup chilled or hot, which speaks to its versatility. I love to garnish it with fresh flowers. If you're curious, refer to my earlier blog on edible flowers to see what you can sprinkle on top.

I hope you'll continue to check out my work on seasonal living and eating this year! As always, I'm so thankful to my partners at KC Farm School at Gibbs Road and their Let's Grow, Wyandotte program, which veritably saved my mental health during the pandemic. I'll be gladly participating in their CSA by way of writing recipes weekly. Stay tuned... And, as always:

Happy cooking and happy eating!