Sorrel Potato Soup

Sometimes I get so pissed off by the world we live in, all I want to do is scream.

Instead, I garden.

I can't believe what people are putting into my food, into your food, just to get rich. Is money that important?

I don't make a lot of money, but I have an apartment, a television, a stereo, and a bunch of other stuff. I eat very well, I have clothes and a bicycle, and every now and then Noshette and I even go on vacation. So it pisses me off when I read about how business people (let's not call them farmers, because they aren't) are putting plastics, antibiotics, pesticides, poisons, and who knows what else into my food, just so they can produce more food at a faster rate. North America has so much food we throw tons of it away, so why cant we just make better food instead of more food?

Enough ranting. Complaining never gets me anywhere, and most folks just don't want to hear it. Instead, I make myself feel better by growing good food and then cooking good food and then eating it. Maybe, just maybe, if enough of us stop buying these 'food products', people may be awakened from their advertising-induced capitalistic comas and stop buying this crap from these business people,and start buying food from farmers. I think I may begin to use the term 'food products' to refer to most items that are sold as 'food'.

I think I was still complaining in that last paragraph. Sorry again. Thanks for reading, if you're still there. Here is what I meant to write when I sat down at the keyboard:

g-020.jpgThis week marked the official opening of Montreal's community garden season. I visited my garden plot to clean it up, weed it, transplant some plants, and reflect on the upcoming summer. I took home some dill, chive, oregano and thyme plants that come back each year, and planted them in window boxes on my balcony, so I can enjoy fresh herbs all summer. I also trimmed down our sorrel plant, which will supply us with fresh sorrel all summer. It will end up in our salads, sandwiches, sauces, etc.

This afternoon, after a long bike ride with Noshette, I made Sorrel soup.

I didn't use a specific recipe - I rarely do. When I cook something, I usually look up several similar recipes and create my own version of what I want to make based on a combination of the recipes and my own culinary knowledge. Today I referenced The Joy of Cooking and Julia Child and Simone Beck's Mastering the Art of French Cooking, and combined recipes from those books with my own cooking skills.

I cooked some diced onion from my winter CSA in unsalted butter until the onion dice were soft, then added some peeled and julienned potatoes (also from the winter CSA) and let it cook a while. I added some white wine leftover from a previous dinner party and then added about a liter of chicken stock from the freezer. In went the sorrel, which I more or less chopped up. After a few minutes - long enough to soften the potatoes, I added a free-range organic egg yolk and some conventional sour cream which I had just whisked together with a bit of the hot soup.

Yum. Now I feel a bit better.

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7 Responsesto “Sorrel Potato Soup”

  1. Ellpie says:

    Thank you for that. Yes, so much disturbing news bombards us daily, giving us much to complain about indeed. The only sane thing to do is to return to what is basic and good and right (and, in your case, write). A bike ride followed by time in the kitchen. You have inspired me to go ahead with my weekly trip to the farmers market this morning even though its my twins' birthday and I have a million other things to do today. I will buy local peaches, beets, hopefully some more strawberries, and a Oaxacan tamale for breakfast (I don't imagine you can get your hands on one of those up in Montreal.

  2. brad says:

    Nosher, I hope you've had the soil in your community garden tested! I've been reading disturbing reports about contamination (heavy metals etc.) in many of Montreal's community gardens; apparently the city is recommending that gardeners in affected plots plant flowers only and no vegetables, which kind of defeats the purpose. There's a long toxic legacy here on the island, perhaps one of the reasons that life expectancies of Montrealers are the lowest of any Canadian city.

  3. Nosher of the North says:

    Ellpie - Thanks for the comment - I'm glad I did some good. I spent several hours this weekend in the garden, shoveling manure and transplanting raspberry bushes. I hope to sow some seeds this week.

    Brad, didn't you read my post from a couple of weeks ago? I discussed the situation and reported that the garden where I have my plot is clean. It used to be a schoolyard, where many other garden sites used to be industrial sites and landfills.

  4. brad says:

    Whoops, sorry I missed your earlier post. However upon reading it I see that your garden wasn't even tested, which should still be cause for concern. Apart from not knowing what that site might have been used for before it was a schoolyard, there's also the issue of contaminants that could be coming in from elsewhere. And if the site was near a road, there could still be a fair amount of lead in the soil (soil lead levels near roads were high when leaded gasoline was used, and even today there may be residual amounts). I don't know where individuals can send soil samples for testing to a private lab; there must be someplace that does it. I used to do it in the States when I lived there as a precaution and for peace of mind.

  5. that is scary. brad, where does one send soil samples in the united states?

    on a different note, that's a lovely soup..that potato and sorrel. i made it not too long ago as a vegetarian alternative to a lamb-sorrel broth. the lamb broth with sorrel(and potatoes, of course. optional: thinly sliced endives) goes back to shakespeare's time. since you use chicken broth anyways, try making it with lamb stock instead if you can? it will take the soup onto an entirely different dimension. i use lemon juice instead of sour cream for the vegetarian version. you can do without it for the lamb broth version. i can see how it can make one feel better.

  6. brad says:

    @faustianbargain: In general, the standard soil tests that your local county extension service provides will only give you info on nutrients and soil quality, not contaminants; to get a soil test for contaminants you should be able to get a list of approved labs from your state's Public Health Department. When I did it, I contacted the local Cooperative Extension and they referred me to the right department in the state government.

  7. thanks..i'll check with the local library for the labs/address.