Strawberry Soup



Our tomatoes are done for the summer. When Kris and I took our mini-vacations last month (Denver and the Lake, respectively), the deer had a field day and ate every green bean (and leaf!) and cherry tomato (and bloom and most leaves). Those have not recovered from the trauma. At the same time, the big tomatoes (a Celebrity plant and a Juliet something-something Roma) became overrun with weeds and stopped fruiting. For the last few weeks, we’ve had to look elsewhere for our daily fruit fix. Strawberries keep being on sale at Publix, but they’re not usually awesome enough to eat by themselves the way they are in March/April, so I was pushed into trying a cold fruit soup.


I put it off as long as possible. As much as I like cool foods in summer, the thought of cold soup was – eww. The thought of fruit soup was – why waste good fruit by pureeing it? We’re more of the slice-and-eat or slice-and-bake-and-eat school of fruit eaters. But this week, I needed something to go with a quiche, and strawberry soup sounded more intriguing than threatening.


I rifled through my recipes and came up with one. With some changes, it proved very tasty. As in, I had to have a cup before I could get it into the fridge for the mandatory chill period (and that rarely happens).


Summer Strawberry Soup
adapted from this Taste of Home recipe

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups plain Greek yogurt (I used Cabot’s 10% milkfat)
  • 1/2 cup orange juice (I didn’t use fresh but would next time, for jollies)
  • 2 pounds fresh strawberries, hulled and halved (about 8 cups)
  • 1/2 cup sugar (I think if you used vanilla yogurt, you could leave this out if your strawberries are even the least bit ripe.)
  • half a vanilla bean, scraped
  • Save for garnish: additional yogurt dobs, sliced strawberries, and/or fresh mint leaves (I forgot but won’t next time. Whipped cream would also be good.)

  • Wash, hull*, and halve the strawberries.
  • In an 11-cup+ food processor, combine the yogurt, orange juice, strawberries and sugar. Process until blended.
  • The original recipe said to “Refrigerate for at least 2 hours,” but I liked the flavor and texture right away just as much as the aged version – maybe because I used Greek yogurt?
  • Garnish and serve.Yield: 6 extra-large servings, or 4 1-cup servings plus a few cups to throw into the ice cream churn.

*I used my awesome birthday present, the Chef’n Stem Gem, to make short work of all that hulling. For someone who doesn’t cook, Kris has a record of picking some really excellent implements.

A hand model, I am not.

By my standard definition, it’s an ideal cooking tool: low-tech, ergonomic, and compact. (Compactness is important when your tool box looks like this:



It might be three inches deep – maybe – and less than 2 feet wide. I’m hobbled!) Bottom line, the thing just works. Doesn’t matter if the strawberry is one of those big green ones or a tiny overripe one – the Stem Gem’s claw of power makes short work of the less edible parts (leaves and hull) while leaving the meat intact.


As previously alluded to, I threw the leftovers into the ice cream churn last night. I like that the soup retained the yogurt’s creamy tartness, and I think it will make exemplary fro-yo.


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