Sorrel and Watercress Soup

See the RecipeRussell Kaye

If you can't find sorrel for this soup—adapted from an Alice Waters recipe published in Chez Panisse Vegetables (HarperCollins, 1996)—use more watercress and a little fresh lemon juice instead.

Sorrel and Watercress Soup
This recipe came from Alice Waters' book _Chez Panisse Vegetables_ (HarperCollins, 1996).
Yield: serves 6


  • 4 tbsp. butter
  • 1 large yellow onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 34 lb. white boiling potatoes, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 1 12 cups Chicken Stock
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 cups sorrel leaves
  • 2 12 cups watercress leaves, plus additional for garnish
  • 13 cup half-and-half
  • Sour cream (optional)


  1. Melt butter in a large stainless-steel saucepan over medium-low heat. Add onions, carrots, and thyme and cook, stirring occasionally, until carrots are tender and onions soft, about 20 minutes. Add potatoes, stock, and 3 1⁄2 cups water. Season with salt and pepper and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, partially covered, until potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes more.
  2. Increase heat to medium-high, add sorrel and watercress, bring just to a simmer, then remove from heat. Allow soup to steep for 10 minutes, then purée in batches in a blender. Strain through a fine sieve back into saucepan, stir in half-and-half, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Warm gently over medium-low heat. Serve garnished with watercress leaves and sour cream if desired.