Tuesday, 30 June 2015

SORREL (Rumex Acetosa, R. Scutatus)

The zippy, lemony taste of sorrel leaves is unique among herbs. Its leaves are long, arrow shaped and are refreshingly acidic and are brilliantly used especially for sauces and salads. Unfortunately, it is not very commonly known and is rarely stocked at shops.

All about sorrel
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It is a hardy perennial. When planting, keep it in mind to establish a permanent patch to offer a year-round supply. It should survive the winter. Even if the leaves may die, the plant will bounce back in spring. In fact, since we planted ours some years ago, we have never needed to re-plant it. Fingers crossed for the coming years too.

To maintain your sorrel patch, simply, harvest regularly as the leaves will regrow. It is better to consume when the leaves are nice and young especially eating raw but can still be used when they grow much larger, particularly chopped and added to some cooked meals such as some soups and stews.

Sorrel is rich in Vitamins A and C, fiber, iron and potassium. There are studies to suggest that it is used in cancer prevention. It is also claimed that sorrel improves digestion problems and is helpful in lowering blood pressure. Sorrel is also helpful in improvement of eyesight and the immune system. The consumption of dried sorrel leaves stimulates urination and therefore can act as a diuretic which is helpful in cleaning out the kidneys.

It is recommended that sorrel is only consumed in smaller amounts as its oxalic acid can be toxic and can also contribute to the growth of kidney stones.

Clean eating and sorrel
Sorrel in my son's lunchbox
How we consume it:
  • Simply as raw salad leaves or snacks. 
  • We cook a green lentil soup and add it to the pot at the end, soon after turning off the stove. 
The recipe of the green lentil soup that we use sorrel with is below:


1 medium onion, chopped finely.
1 clove crushed garlic (optional)
1 table spoonful of tomato paste (optional)
1/2 cup of boiled and drained chickpeas (chickpeas can be prepared in advance as boiled chickpeas can be stored in the freezer)
1/2 cup of boiled wheat (optional)
1-1,5 cup of boiled green lentils
Olive oil
Chilli flakes (optional)
Some boiling water
A handful of coarsely chopped sorrel leaves


Fry onion and garlic in some olive oil. Add paste. Once the onions are soft, add the lentils and keep stirring for a few minutes. Then add boiling water (about 3 times the level of lentils in the pot). Add the chickpeas, wheat, salt and chilli flakes and cook on slow heat for approximately 10-15 minutes. Then turn off the stove and quickly add the sorrel leaves. Stir a few times to make sure they soak. Then it is ready to eat.

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