This recipe for sorrel soup is known as shchavelya sup in Russian and shchavlyu sup in Ukrainian; however, it is usually referred to simply as schav.
Sorrel is domesticated and grown wild throughout Eastern Europe and spring is the best time to pick the young, tender leaves. Sorrel finds its way into soups, sauces (especially with salmon), stuffings and, when young and tender, it is eaten raw in salads like baby spinach.
This recipe is a Jewish version, often called schav borscht, which can be eaten hot or cold, and it's a good candidate for Passover.
Read more about the 10 Traditional Soups of Russia.
- 1 pound young sorrel leaves, washed, stemmed as for spinach and chopped
- 2 tablespoons butter or margarine or oil
- 1 large minced onion
- 6 cups water or chicken stock
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt or to taste
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 2 large beaten egg yolks
- Sour cream to taste
- In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, melt 2 tablespoons butter or margarine or heat the oil. Sauté 1 pound young washed and stemmed sorrel leaves and 1 large minced onion for about 10 minutes or until sorrel is wilted and onions are translucent.
- Add 6 cups water or chicken stock and 1 teaspoon kosher salt or to taste. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes.
- Remove from heat and stir in 2 tablespoons sugar and juice of 1 lemon a little at a time, tasting after each addition of lemon juice, until your desired tartness is achieved.
- Temper 2 large beaten egg yolks with a few tablespoons of hot soup, then stir tempered egg yolks back into the soup.
- Return the saucepan to the heat and cook until slightly thickened and simmering but do not boil as the eggs will curdle. Serve hot or cold with sour cream.