Sunday, April 13, 2008

My Year In Soup-Week 15

Yesterday I hopped in the car and headed out to a local strawberry festival. The weather was gorgeous and it had the usual carnival rides and such, but it was all about the strawberries for me. I ended up purchasing 6 pints of strawberries, a jar of strawberry jam, strawberry honey, and a bottle of strawberry wine. So it just makes sense that this week's soup would be, Strawberry Soup! This is the second recipe I've made from this particular cookbook and definitely one I'd make again. Read here about the first.

Chilled Strawberry Soup with Creme Fraiche

Source: The Dairy Hollow House Soup & Bread: A Country Inn Cookbook
Serves: 4-6 as a starter

1 1/2 cups rose wine (I used some white zin)
1/4 cup thawed frozen apple juice concentrate
1-2 Tablespoons honey, or to taste (I used 1 Tablespoon of the strawberry honey I bought)
2 Tablespoons cornstarch
2 Tablespoons raspberry or strawberry vinegar, or to taste
1 Tablespoon grenadine syrup
2 Tablespoons kirsch (I used 2 T liquid from a jar of maraschino cherries instead)
4 cups of fresh strawberries
1 cup Creme Fraiche or plain yogurt (I used the plain yogurt)
1/2 cup half and half (I used fat free and it was just fine)

unsweetened whipped cream or additional creme fraiche for garnish ( I used canned whip cream)
fresh mint leaves for garnish

1. In a large enameled saucepan heat the wine, apple juice concentrate, and honey to a boil. Turn down the heat and let simmer. Mix the cornstarch, vinegar, and grenadine together until smooth, then whisk into the simmering liquid. Cook, whisking gently, until clear, smooth, and thick, which should be almost immediately. Stir in the kirsch and remove from heat. Taste; there should be a sweet-tart balance. Add more honey or vinegar if necessary. Let soup cool to room temperature.

2. Set aside 4-6 perfect strawberries for the garnish. Hull all the remaining berries, slice half of them, and in a food processor puree the remaining half. Whisk the strawberry puree, creme fraiche or yogurt, and the half and half into the thickened wine; stir in the sliced berries. Chill deeply.

3. Serve the soup in glass cups and garnish each cup with a dap of whipped cream, or additional creme fraiche, a mint leaf, and a strawberry.

My Notes:
  • This was much better than expected! I really enjoyed it! It would be a refreshing dessert on a hot summer day or a great starter soup for "Tea Room" style lunch (finger sandwiches).
  • I made a few substitutions as noted. For some reason, the local liquor stores don't carry kirsch (cherry liquor) and I wasn't about to pay $33.00 for something similar. I looked online and saw where some people just substituted the liquid from a jar of maraschino cherries and tried that instead-worked great! I also wasn't about to mess with making (or buying) creme fraiche so I opted for the plain yogurt.
  • I would make this again-it was definitely worth the effort, but if you want something a bit less putzy, try this award-winning recipe.
Now I'm enjoying finding ways to use up the rest of the strawberries! Maybe next year I'll buy more and make some freezer jam. It's going to be hard to top the incredible strawberry shortcake I had at the festival though. Mmmmmmmmmm. Just look at all the whipped cream!!!


At 4/13/2008 , Blogger Juanita said...

Yummy Strawberry goodness!

At 4/14/2008 , Blogger Bezzie said...

Ohhhh...that looks good. But so weird to have strawberries so early int he year!!

At 4/14/2008 , Blogger janna said...

Oh, I used to love going to Poteet to the Strawberry Festival! My favorite thing there, though, was always the gorditas (not strawberry!)...

At 4/17/2008 , Blogger dawn said...

oh, amy, that looks incredibly good.

your posts always make my day.

At 4/18/2008 , Blogger Enid said...

WOW. That sounds really good.


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