Spring Asparagus and Sorrel Soup

Heidi Noble writes: “This soup can be served for a treat with a bit of fresh Dungeness crab meat or a piece of seared salmon in the center of the bowl.”


1 onion, diced

1 carrot, diced

3 celery ribs

1 Tbsp unsalted butter

1 bay leaf

salt and freshly ground black pepper

8 cups chicken stock (or vegetable stock for a vegetarian soup)

1 lb fresh asparagus, chopped into 1-inch pieces

1 bunch fresh sorrel leaves, tough stems removed

2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar

zest of 1 lemon

finely chopped chives, for garnish and torn up chive blossoms if you have them


Prepare a mirepoix by sautéing the onion, carrot and celery in the butter with the bay leaf until soft. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Meanwhile, put the stock in a large pot and bring to the boil. While the stock is boiling, prepare to blanch the asparagus. Timing is everything with this soup in order to achieve its bright green colour, so set up a blender and a bowl of ice water to cool the asparagus after it is blanched. Plunge half of the asparagus into the boiling stock and cook until it turns bright green, about 2-3 minutes. Remove the asparagus from the boiling stock with a slotted spoon and plunge into the ice water bath to cool. Repeat with other half asparagus. Add the mirepoix and asparagus to the stock and bring back to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer,  uncovered, for 2 minutes. In batches, blend the sorrel with the stock mixture until very smooth. Pour through a fine mesh sieve straight into a bowl set over ice water. Add the rice wine vinegar and lemon zest and season to taste with salt and pepper. The soup should have a bright, fresh flavour. To serve, gently heat the soup and ladle into warm soup bowls. Garnish with finely chopped chives and chive blossom.

Serves 6.


Suggested BC wine pairing: Stag’s Hollow Sauvignon Blanc, Okanagan Falls.


From Menus from an Orchard Table, published by Whitecap, 2007.


Editor’s note: Common Sorrel or Garden Sorrel (Rumex acetosa), often simply called sorrel and also known as Spinach Dock or Narrow-leaved Dock, is a perennial herb that is cultivated as a garden herb or leaf vegetable (pot herb).(Wikipedia) It is widely available through organic farms. In Victoria, Madrona Farm sells sorrel at its farm stand (4317 Blenkinsop Road, 11- sunset, Wednesday – Saturday). Their produce is also available through Share Organics, Niagara Grocery and at FoodRoots pocket markets.

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