Sorrel soup

Sorrel soup


A highly elaborate dinner held on 2nd July 1888, possibly to celebrate Whistler’s forthcoming marriage to Beatrice Godwin on 11th August, included ‘Potage a l’oseille’.

Our sorrel soup was adapted from the recipe for ‘Potage crème d’oseille’ from ‘Mastering the art of French cooking’, by Julia Child, Louisette Bertholle and Simone Beck. Sorrel is not terribly easy to find in supermarkets and markets, but it is wonderfully easy to grow – this recipe used our remaining crop (it is October and we have been dining on it regularly since May!). We didn’t use as much as suggested by the recipe but it was still very flavourful. This is a very luxurious, creamy soup and the sorrel adds a refreshing slightly sour note.


While this soup was very successful the two recipes for Crème d’Oseille by Escoffier are intriguingly different, one being based on oats and milk and the other barley (sorrel porridge!?).


Whistler Menu, 2nd July 1888, #06963

For all other sources please see the Bibiography.


Published by

Katharine MacDonald

Katharine MacDonald is an archaeologist, food and art lover. As daughter of art historian Margaret, she has been familiar with James McNeill Whistler all her life, and has a very strong appreciation for his taste in art, cuisine and places to visit.

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