The other day I came home with a box of lovely strawberries just on the verge of being overripe. They really could not sit in the fridge waiting for the family to decide to eat them. I remembered that Constant Companion enjoyed a cold strawberry soup.* They were washed, cut up and with a handful of berries that had sat almost too long in the fridge placed in a medium saucepan. All were covered with liquid – about ¼ cup of orange juice, squeezed from a small orange, also on the verge, ½ cup of prosecco from an open bottle, and water totaling two cups. Please note, no sugar was added. Our family have come to prefer the taste of fruit unmasked by sweeteners. Also, no dairy due to CC’s aversion to dairy.
Bring the strawberries to a boil, the simmer til the fruits are very soft. Cool, then blend thoroughly either with an immersion blender or a standard blender. When you let the blended fruits sit, the mixture will separate with a lovely foam on top.
*Some years ago, Constant Companion took me to dinner at one of the many high end restaurants in town. Who remembers the occasion? I chose a strawberry soup for my dessert. We both found it to be wonderful. The chef actually came out to chat with us and gave me the recipe: in great detail and grams which I sadly could not remember. I already made a wonderful fig soup (to be shared in a few months when figs are in season again). Since then, I’ve experimented with fruit soups, especially during the hot summer months.
The strawberry soup was part of a light Sunday night dinner. It was one of those clean out the fridge dinners making use of leftover brown rice and an overflow of mushrooms. A frittata was just the thing. First, Constant Companion put the rice with a little water into the microwave to hydrate it. Then in a skillet with a bit of olive oil, I fried it with salt and pepper. The thinly sliced mushrooms (about 8 ounces) were sliced and added to the rice, gently stirred til nicely softened. I topped these ingredients with chopped parsley and garlic chives from the garden.
Finally, eight beaten eggs were added. As the eggs set, loosen the edges, tilt the pan, and move the liquid center to the sides. As the eggs start to set, put into a moderate (350) oven for about ten minutes.
Epilog: Wouldn’t you know that after dinner I opened my e-mail to find the daily contribution or recipes from Bon Appetit. Included were instructions for an “Any-Berry Shrub” originally published in 2021. Described as a “puckering fruit shrub mixed with soda over ice” this closely resembles what I call a fruit soup! A main difference is the addition of lots of sugar in which the berries are macerated (soaked). So, did I make soup or a shrub?