Sharing Food and Memories with Friends and Family

May 7, 2010
Irene Saiger


Schav Borscht (Sorrel Soup)

Mother’s Day may feel like a Hallmark holiday but it does force us to stop whatever we are doing for a minute, an hour, or a day, and think about our mothers or our role as mothers.  My mother was a petite, olive-skinned woman with medium brown hair and the deepest set blue-grey eyes I have ever seen.  Those eyes had seen the best and the worst of humanity but in the end my mother chose life and all that it had to offer.  Nothing was more important to her than her family, her daughters, and especially her grandchildren.  She would kvell at their every achievement, smile when they smiled, and if they experienced a moment of sadness or pain, you could see the sadness reflected in those deep blue-grey eyes.  She was the embodiment of a yiddishe mamma.

As mothers, we all know that motherhood is much like a roller coaster ride, thrilling and frightening at the same time.  On this mother’s day I want to thank my husband Norm and my children, Shira, David and Micah for giving me the opportunity to experience the ride. Nothing could be better.

Michael Yanow, a friend and colleague, took this generational photograph of  his grandmother sitting at her vanity.

Happy Mother’s Day to all of you!

Here is one of my Mom’s favorite cold soups.

Sorrel growing in my garden

Schav Borscht

1 lb. schav (sorrel leaves)

6 cups water

1 lemon, juiced

1 tsp salt

2 egg yolks

1/2  cup sour cream

Wash the sorrel well, removing the tough stems and chopping the leaves coarsely.

Bring the water to a boil, add sorrel, lower heat and cook for about 20 minutes.

Remove from heat. Add salt. Slowly add lemon juice until the desired tartness is achieved.

In a small bowl beat the egg yolks well. Add a few tablespoons of the soup to the yolks and then stir yolks back into remaining soup. (Delete yolks if you are worried about egg related illnesses)

Whisk in 1/2 cup sour cream.

Chill and serve in a tall glass along with a bowl of hot buttered mashed potatoes.

Note: I wrote my post before I read this article but had to share the coincidence.



8 thoughts on “Schav Borscht (Sorrel Soup)

  1. Thank you so much for this recipe – it comes the closest to how i remember my father making schav. He also saw “the best and worst”.

  2. Great recipe!
    I am 35 and have been eating raw eggs for a long time – never got sick. buying organic and cleaning the eggs before Cracking can help I think.

  3. What a pleasure to hear about Yiddisha Mommas in the best sense. Irene-sky your blog seems to embody that as well.

    I am a little skittish about raw eggs….but i have been called paranoid by our friend Susan N. What would happen if you used the pasurized egg product? ( I know, i can’t ever follow a reciepe).

    Love the photo by Michael Yanow, everyone should definately check it out!

    B’te Avon

    • Raw eggs are tricky but I wonder if the lemon juice kills the bacteria. I don’t know about pasturized egg products?? What are those?? My schav is growing so I will make it soon and see if I survive the raw eggs.

      Thanks for the comment.

  4. Hi Irene.

    I had tears in my eyes when I saw mommy’s picture and read your story. She was the best. You are so fortunate to have the same eyes as mommy. She obviously had a hand in making you the same fiercely devoted mother that you are. Have a wonderful Mother’s Day and thank you.


  5. Beautiful note about your mother.

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