Small World, Big Taste: Creamy Sorrel Vegetable Soup

This soup tastes great chilled; lemon juice and salt bring out the herb
October/November 1999

 Serves 8 

• 1 yam
• 2 carrots
• 1 small butternut squash
• 1 yellow onion
• 1 head cauliflower, broken into florets
• 1 bay leaf
• Water to cover
• 1/2 cup Sorrel-Chervil Pesto (recipe follows)
• 1/2 cup crème fraîche, heavy whipping cream, or sour cream
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1. Peel the yam, carrots, squash, and onion. Cut the squash in half and scrape out the seeds with a spoon. Quarter the vegetables and place them in a 5-quart pot along with the cauliflower and bay leaf. Add just enough water to cover the vegetables and simmer them for 30 minutes or until tender. Remove the bay leaf.

2. Puree the vegetables with their cooking liquid in a blender or food processor until smooth. Return the puree to the pot, along with the pesto and crème fraîche. Heat, stirring, but do not boil. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Sorrel-Chervil PestoMakes 1/2 cup 

Hazelnuts give this pesto a creamy consistency, adding essential fatty acids and rich flavor.

• 1 cup sorrel leaves
• 1/4 cup chervil leaves
• 2 tablespoons lime or lemon thyme leaves
• 1 clove garlic
• 1/2 cup toasted hazelnuts
• 2 tablespoons lemon juice
• 1/4 cup olive oil
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1. Blend all ingredients to a paste in a food processor, or mince the herbs and nuts very finely, then combine with the lemon juice, oil, and salt and pepper.