Sunday, July 16, 2006

Deconstructed Shtshav

Shtshav, also known by the names schav, or szczaw, or sorrel soup, is a cooling and restorative soup named for its main ingredient, shtshav, or sorrel. Nothing really tastes quite like shtshav. It is a leafy green vegetable, but its tartness is almost fruity. There are only a few short weeks of the year when these very tender and delicate leaves are available, so I urge you to seize the moment.

Until this year, I always pureed the shtshav and thickened the hot pot-liquor with raw eggs. This time, I made a deconstructed version in which the vegetables are not pureed, and the eggs are hard-cooked and served on the side. I think I may be getting ever closer and closer to the Platonic shtshav.

Deconstructed Shtshav

About one pound sorrel

2 large or 4 small cucumbers

1 or 2 summer onions, or some scallions, or a small regular onion

1 or 2 cups yogurt, sour cream or buttermilk

4 hard-cooked eggs

salt and pepper to taste

Wash the leaves well and remove the stems. If you will not be pureeing the soup, cut the leaves into a very fine chiffonade. If you will be pureeing the soup, cut them any which way. Place the leaves in a pot and add about two quarts of water and some salt. Bring to the boil and simmer for half an hour. Allow to cool.

Meanwhile, peel and dice the cucumbers and onions and place them in a bowl or soup tureen. Mix the yogurt, sour cream or buttermilk into the shtshav and pour it over the diced vegetables. Chill for a few hours (It will be even better if chilled overnight). Serve the shtshav in bowls with slices of eggs floating on top or offered on the side.

Other refreshing herbal potations at Weekend Herb Blogging.

An introduction to shtshav, more synonyms, my original recipe, and other shtshav-related thoughts are here.

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Blogger Kalyn Denny said...

Very interesting. I just bought some sorrel yesterday at the farmer's market and the farmer told me to try it raw in a salad with other lettuces. Have you tried it that way? I don't think I've heard of eating it raw before, but when I tried the leaves they have a very interesting flavor.

5:04 PM  
Blogger the chocolate doctor מרת שאקאלאד said...

In small quantities it might be a nice seasoning for a salad or maybe a fruit salad. If it were to be one of the main salad ingredients, I think the sourness would be to overpowering.

5:36 PM  
Blogger Harlan said...

Thanks for your comment on my blog about the 65-degree eggs! I very much like your photography on a black background. That's very effective...

10:56 AM  
Blogger the chocolate doctor מרת שאקאלאד said...

Thanks Harlan

2:36 AM  

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