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Let's Make Tchav, a Refreshing Soup to Welcome Summer

With the heat of summer upon us, a chilled soup sounded like a refreshing recipe to make. Lucky for us, Tablet's Joan Nathan has just the dish! Tchav is a cold sorrel soup popular with Ukraine's Jewish community:

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 leek, white and light green parts only, diced
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 pound sorrel, tough stems removed and leaves roughly chopped
1/2 pound spinach, tough stems removed and leaves roughly chopped
1 cup assorted herbs such as tarragon, basil, parsley, thyme or chives, stems removed and leaves chopped
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
Freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 cup sour cream, crème fraîche, or Greek yogurt
1 English cucumber, thinly sliced

Warm the butter in a large stockpot set over medium-high heat. Add the leek and onion, sautéing until the onion is transparent, about 10 minutes. Stir in the garlic and sauté a few minutes more. Pour in 4 cups of water and bring to a boil, then add the sorrel, spinach, herbs, lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, then remove from heat.

Purée using an immersion blender or in a food processor or regular blender. You can purée it to be smooth and silky, or leave a bit of texture if you like. Taste and if too tart, stir in some sugar (although you may not need it if you are garnishing with crème fraîche). Chill for at least 2 hours in the refrigerator and serve cold, garnished with a dollop of crème fraîche or Greek yogurt and slices of the cucumber.

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Tags: Recipes

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