French Sorrel

French sorrel is scientifically known as Rumex scutatus.  It’s one of those funny plants that are considered as both a herb and a vegetable.  Traditionally Sorrel was a popular European herb (especially in French food) and was used a lot by the Greeks, Egyptians, and Romans.  Like spinach, sorrel has a high level of iron but it tastes much more lemony. It is a good source of vitamin C and vitamin A (which is great for your eyesight).

Sorrel has a high level of oxalic acid which is useful in smaller quantities. Oxalic acids is a diuretic and not really something you want to overdo, though quite helpful if your feeling constipated. Like in all things a certain quantity is great and very beneficial but too much is no good. Even water so essential for life, in large quantities, can be bad for us.

Just a few useful qualities:
• Can be eaten raw or cooked
• Provides a good source of vitamin A and vitamin C.
• Sorrel is rich in Antioxidants.
• Can help to fight premature aging.
• Fresh Sorrel leaves have diuretic and blood cleansing properties.
• Prevent diarrhea and constipation.
• can help to prevent diseases like cancer, diabetes, heart disease and hypertension.
• Raw Sorrel cures hemorrhages, chronic catarrh, gonorrhea, urinary infections, and scurvy.
• Dried Sorrel leaves have been used as a treatment for seasonal fever, itchy skin, and ringworm.
• if you consume it regularly it can help you get rid of jaundice and kidney stones.
• The extracted juice can be applied to boils, malignant tumors, and indolent ulcers.
• And can help to cure inflammatory and scorbutic diseases.


French Sorrel Soup


• 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
• 1/2 cup chopped onions
• 3-5 cups of chopped sorrel
• Salt
• 3 tablespoons flour
• Your choice of stock
• 2 egg yolks
• 1/2 cup cream
• 2 potatoes chopped.

1. Melt 3 tablespoons butter in a soup pot over medium heat. Add the onions and potatoes, turn the heat to medium-low. Cover the pot and cook gently for 10 minutes. Then add the stock.
2. Turn the heat up, add the sorrel leaves and salt, stir well. When the sorrel is mostly wilted, turn the heat back to medium-low, cover and cook 10 minutes. Stir occasionally. Mix in the flour and cook over medium heat for 3 minutes.
3. To finish, whisk together the egg yolks and cream. Temper the mixture by ladling a little soup into it, mixing continuously. Repeat this three times. (You are doing this to prevent the eggs from scrambling) Now start whisking the soup. Pour the hot egg-cream-soup mixture into the pot with the soup, whisking all the way. Add the final tablespoon of butter. Let this cook -- below a simmer -- for 5 minutes. Do not let it boil or the soup will break. Serve at once.

River Cottage Sorrel Pesto


  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 1 small garlic clove, peeled and crushed
  • young sorrel (1-2 handfuls, about 45g in weight)
  • flat leaf parsley, stalks removed (1 small bunch)
  • sea salt
  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 30 g hard goat's cheese, grated

In a small frying pan over a medium heat, lightly toast the pine nuts until they're just beginning to turn golden, then tip out into a food processor. Add the garlic, sorrel, parsley and a pinch of salt to the pine nuts, then pulse a few times until roughly chopped and combined. Slowly pour in the olive oil, pulsing as you go, until the pesto is the consistency you like.
Spoon the pesto mixture into a bowl and stir in the goat's cheese. The pesto will keep, sealed in a jar with a slick of olive oil over the top, for about a week.