GREEN HERB SOUP WITH SORREL AND LOVAGE

1 Tbs. butter
1 Tbs. olive oil
1 red onion, thinly sliced
2 small potatoes, thinly sliced
1 carrot, thinly sliced
3 to 4 c. (6 to 8 ounces) sorrel, stems removed
4 c. chard leaves
1 c. lovage or cilantro leaves, finely chopped
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
4 to 6 c. vegetable or chicken stock or water
lemon juice or white wine vinegar
1/3 c. crème fraîche or heavy cream

Warm the butter and oil in a soup pot. Add the onion, potatoes, carrot, sorrel, and chard, along with the water clinging to its leaves. Add 2/3 of the lovage and sprinkle 1 1/2 teaspoons salt over all. Cover and cook over low heat until the greens have collapsed and the potatoes are partially cooked, about 15 minutes. If the pan seems too dry at any point, add water in small amounts so that nothing burns. Add the stock or water, bring to a boil, and simmer, partially covered for 15 minutes. Puree or leave the soup with some texture. Stir in the remaining lovage. Taste for salt and season with pepper and lemon juice or vinegar to taste to bring out the flavors. Sometimes several adjustments are necessary to get it right. Stir in the crème fraîche and serve. Serves 4-6.

(from Local Flavors by Deborah Madison)

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