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A bowl of Shav Soup, garnished with chopped dill, yogurt, and Bulgarian Feta Cheese.

Ice-Cold Shav

Described by Hamilton as "a refreshing tonic," and perfect for "the sweltering heat of August." ...."It's made from the shockingly tart herb sorrel, which belongs to the buckwheat family along with rhubarb. I mention this to convey how stimulating and astringent it is in the mouth - just like raw rhubarb."
Course Soup
Cuisine Russian/Polish
Prep Time 45 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Author Gabrielle Hamilton


  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 medium shallot peeled and finely minced
  • 1 large russet potato peeled and trimmed into the shape of a rectangular box, then small-diced. Mince the scripts from boxing as fine as the shallots.
  • Kosher salt
  • 3 cups water
  • ½ pound sorrel stems removed but saved, leaves washed and cut into 1-inch ribbons
  • 4 hard boiled eggs
  • Barbara Bedick's Variation to Hamilton's recipe: garnish with fresh dill. Leave out eggs and substitute in yogurt or some Bulgarian feta cheese-yum!.


  1. Melt butter in nonreactive soup pot. Sweat shallot and minced potato scraps in the butter slowly, stirring gently. Season with salt.
  2. Put dices potatoes in the water, season with salt and bring to a boil. Simmer potatoes until perfectly cooked, a couple of minutes only. Taste one cube to determine.
  3. Add sorrel to sweating shallot-potato mixture, and season with salt. Stir and wilt the sorrel, which will happen almost instantly, turning drab immediately.
  4. Add the cooked potatoes and their salty water to the pot of sorrel. Season with salt, if needed, keeping in mind that when chilled, the flavors are dulled significantly.
  5. Chill immediately and thoroughly - overnight even.
  6. Chop the hard-boiled eggs, and scatter in the cold soup. Mince half the reserved stems from the sorrel as you would chives, and sprinkle over soup.