Herbs growing first in the wild and later in gardens were of paramount importance in improving the flavor of the simple meals of the rural people of Europe and Asia.
A Polish Tradition: The fresh, bright green, lance-shaped leaves of sorrel are one of the first herbal signs of spring. Their tart, clean flavor shapes the character of this simple, traditional Polish soup. This soup may be eaten plain, sprinkled with croutons, or served with cooked rice or hard-boiled eggs. MAKES 6 to 8 SERVINGS
• 1 pound sorrel leaves
• 2 tablespoons butter
• 6 cups clear chicken stock
• 1/2 cup sour cream
• 1 tablespoon flour
1. Clean, wash, and dry the sorrel leaves and sauté them in the butter for 5 minutes, or until just wilted. Do not overcook, or the bright green color will fade.
2. Press the cooked leaves through a sieve and then return them to the sauté pan.
3. Add the chicken stock and bring to a simmer.
4. In a separate bowl, mix the sour cream and flour together thoroughly, then combine it with the stock and sorrel.
5. Simmer 1 to 2 minutes. Serve hot.
Sophie Hodorowicz Knab is a writer in Grand Island, New York. She is the author of Polish Herbs, Flowers and Folk Medicine (Hippocrene Books, 1996).
Click here for the main article, Polish Cooking in a Country Cottage.
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