You don't have to be a rabbit to relish the crisp, clean flavors of early spring. At Fox Hill Farm in Michigan, they are foraging in their herb gardens and fields for the first signs of fresh herbs ready to be picked. Old reliables, such as chives and parsley, respond quickly to the extended light of day, and are ready to be snipped for use in scrambled eggs, salads, and mild cheeses.
Lacy chervil has a delicate parsley/tarragon flavor that imparts a special taste to soup when added at the last minute. The lemony tang of French sorrel is perfect for salads and soup, especially a classic French sorrel soup which includes leeks and potatoes, too. Here are two recipes.
For more information on planting, growing, and cooking with herbs, write to Fox Hill Farm, 4432 W. Michigan Ave., Box 7, Parma, MI 49269.
Spring Soup With Chervil 6 cups chicken stock 2 carrots, sliced in thin rounds 2 handsful egg noodles 1 tablespoon chives, freshly snipped 1 tablespoon chervil, freshly snipped
Simmer carrots in stock for 5 minutes. Add noodles, continue to simmer until tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Add chives and chervil. Ladle into bowls and garnish with sprig of chervil. Serve hot.
Sorrel Soup With Leeks and Potatoes 2 leeks, sliced in thin rounds 5 tablespoons butter 6 cups water or mild chicken stock 4 potatoes, peeled and cubed 1/2 pound French sorrel 1/2 cup sour cream
Saute leeks in 3 tablespoons butter until soft. Add water or stock and potatoes. Simmer 1 1/2 hours. Puree in blender or food processor.
Diagonnaly slice sorrel. Saute in remaining butter until barely wilted, 2 to 3 minutes. Add to pureed soup.
Blend in sour cream and serve hot.