For the first time in our ten years together, the husband and I spent Easter alone as a twosome. Upon reflection, we hope it will be the last time. But considering we spent Palm Sunday in Virginia and the busy weekends we have ahead of us, it just didn’t make any sense to go anywhere or make grandiose plans.
I decided to focus on cooking and pretty much spent the entire day in the kitchen. Breakfast started with savory goat cheese and honey crepes (a blog post for another time), mid-afternoon snacks included my personal favorite Olli Salumeria chorizo (thank the Heavens for their partnership with Whole Foods so I can get it around here), and for dinner: sorrel and Spinach Soup, New Zealand Lamb Loin Chops with a red wine reduction, and roasted asparagus with prosciutto, parsley, and parmesan.
Everything turned out nicely, which is a relief since it was my first time cooking lamb. In the future, I will be pickier about selecting the Chops to ensure they are about the same size – it makes cooking evenly a bit easier. To be honest, I found the chops to be awesome and as such I tooted my own horn for a good part of the evening. The husband, surprisingly, decided the sorrel and spinach soup was his favorite part of the meal – which is pretty funny considering he had a dramatic look of dread on his face before he gave it a try.
Sorrel, for those unfamiliar with the herb, has a tangy, sour sort of flavor. I love it mixed with spinach; there’s a definite bright and fresh aspect to the combination. Unfortunately I only made enough for two servings since I was counting on it not going over very well. But I will definitely be making it again soon!
For the sorrel and spinach soup- serves 2
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium sweet spring onion, diced
2 oz. fresh sorrel, chopped
3 oz. fresh baby spinach, chopped
3 cups chicken or pork broth (I used homemade pork bone broth and it’s partly why I think this soup turned out to be so great – so make it at home if possible!)
1 medium sized red potato – diced
1 clove garlic, smashed
Kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper to taste
Crushed red pepper flakes (for garnish)
Drizzle of heavy cream or half & half (for garnish)
For the lamb loin chops- serves 4
Two tablespoons olive oil
1.5 pounds lamb loin chops – bone in
5-6 sprigs of rosemary, finely chopped
5-6 sprigs of parsley, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
Coarse sea salt, freshly ground black pepper to taste
For the sorrel and spinach soup
Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium. Throw in the onions with a bit of salt and pepper and cook until translucent. Then, add in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about one minute. Next add in the sorrel and spinach. The sorrel will turn brown almost immediately. Have no fear; it’s just its nature. The spinach will help green things up a bit.
Let the greens wilt and then pour in the stock, followed by the diced potato. Bring everything to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for about 25 minutes or so. After, remove the soup from the heat and use an immersion blender to puree the mixture. When smooth, put the soup back over the heat on low until ready to serve. Salt and pepper the soup to taste.
When serving, drizzle each bowl with a small amount of heavy cream or half & half and sprinkle with crushed red pepper flakes.
For the lamb loin chops
Prep the meat by letting it sit for 30-40 minutes at room temperature. Rub the chops with the rosemary, parsley, garlic, sea salt, and pepper on both sides. Heat the olive oil in a cast iron pan over medium-high heat. When hot, sear the chops for three minutes. Then flip, and sear for another 3 minutes.
Then remove the pan from the heat and cover, letting the chops cook for another 2-4 minutes, depending on the doneness you want to achieve. Lamb is best served quite pink, if not rare. I recommended serving the chops with a red wine/shallot reduction sauce.