This new favourite in our household is a recipe by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. I have not been able to resist a tiny bit of tinkering with it, but nothing radical this time. I don't chop or shred any of the green ingredients, but instead I give the finished soup a bit of a whiz with a stick blender (before adding my peas).
It's a deliciously fresh spring soup, and the sorrel gives it a lovely sour taste. I wish it were easier to find sorrel, but it's not. The best thing is to grow it yourself, which is undemanding (as long as you can keep the vine weevils at bay).
I've also tried the recipe using 100gms each of lettuce and watercress leaves (stripped from their stalks). This works admirably.
1 bunch flat-leaf parsley
1 litre vegetable stock (or water)
100g sorrel, very finely shredded
100g baby spinach, very finely shredded
200g lettuce leaves, very finely shredded
(watercress is good to add, too)
160ml crème fraîche
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
hard-boiled eggs, sliced lengthwise
slices rye bread
Wash parsley, pat dry and tie it into a tight bunch with string, just below the leaves. Cut off the leafy part, reserving the tied stalks and the leaves.
Put the tied parsley stalks into a saucepan with the stock or water and bring to a boil.
Add the parsley leaves, sorrel, spinach and lettuce, give it a stir, reduce the heat, partially cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
Remove the parsley stalks, stir in the crème fraîche and adjust the seasoning. If you like, you can use a stick blender to purée it a bit and make sure the cream is evenly distributed.
I like to make this more substantial by adding a handful of defrosted frozen peas just before serving, and putting half a hard-boiled egg in each bowl. Serve with toasted rye bread for dunking.