By Joanne Bruno | July 5, 2011

Photo: Joanne Bruno

I have authority issues.

My mom never told me to eat my greens.  Not once.  Not ever.

And so now I eat them non-stop.  In rebellion. 

Photo: Joanne Bruno

Sometimes, if I’m feeling really contrary, I even go so far as to drink them.  Warm.  In the middle of a 90+ degree summer.

That’ll show her and my CSA, which provided me with both chard and sorrel in my latest delivery, and expected me to do something light and refreshing with them.  Pesto, no-cook sauces, and pistous are what the majority of google searches turned up.

But those seemed too law-abiding.  Too obvious.  Too conservative.

Photo: Joanne Bruno

And then there was this soup.  A mere flick of the wrist and one of my favorite cookbooks opened up to reveal a recipe so simple that, even though it goes against all rational thought, I swear you will taste summer while eating it.

There are so few ingredients that the lemony tart flavor of the sorrel is what really carries it – the potatoes and swiss chard are just included for bulk and nutrition.  Add a swirl of some creme fraiche to provide a hint of richness (note that this is a required step.  And by required I mean that omitting it would be heretical in so many ways that it goes even beyond authority issues into plain and simple bad taste) and you will be  immediately transported to soup heaven.

You should make this.  Now.

Unless you have authority issues. In which case.  Please don’t.

Photo: Joanne Bruno

Adapted from Deborah Madison’s Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone

Joanne Bruno is a food writer and second year medical student.  Find more of her delicious ramblings over at her blog: Eats Well With Others.  Joanne is also training for her third marathon with Team in Training, raising money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.  For more information or to make a donation, check out her fundraising website.

Photo: Joanne Bruno

Swiss Chard, Potato, and Sorrel Soup with Creme Fraiche Recipe

Servings: 4-6


  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 red potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 bunch swiss chard, stems removed, about 10 cups leaves
  • 2 cups sorrel leaves
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup creme fraiche
  • bread, for dipping


1. Heat the butter in a medium pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and potatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until just starting to brown, about 8 minutes.

2. Add 1/2 cup water and scrape the bottom of the pot to release the juices and any stuck bits. Add in the swiss chard and sorrel as well as 1 1/2 tsp salt. As soon as they wilt down, add 6 1/2 cups water. Bring to a boil, then simmer, partially covered for 12 to 15 minutes.

3. Using an immersion blender, puree the soup. Taste for salt and season with pepper. Ladle the soup into serving bowls. Mix the creme fraiche with a tiny bit of water and then stir a tbsp or two into each bowl. Serve with bread for dipping.

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