Swedish Strawberry Mint Soup
According to Marcus Samuelsson, this is traditionally made in Sweden in June when the wild strawberries (which heretofore I only associated with Ingmar Bergman) are available. But Marcus says it's delicious with cultivated strawberries, or you can substitute other berries or a combination thereof.
SERVES 6 -8
- 3 pints strawberries, washed and hulled
- 6 cups water
- 1 cup orange juice, freshly squeezed (from about 4 oranges)
- 6 inches piece fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
- 4-5 stalks lemongrass (tough outer leaves removed, tender inner stalks lightly smashed and sliced into 1/4-inch rounds)
- 2 cups mint, fresh, coarsely chopped
- 1 cup sugar
Set aside 1/2 pint of the strawberries and thinly slice the rest.
Place the sliced strawberries in a large saucepan and add the water, orange juice, ginger, lemongrass, mint and sugar, and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.
Reduce the heat to low and simmer for five minutes.
Remove from heat and set aside to steep for an hour.
After steeping, strain the strawberry mixture through a fine seive, mashing the strawberries to get the maximum strained liquid.
Discard the solids.
Cover and refrigerate the liquid--your strawberry soup--until well chilled--at least two hours.
Meanwhile, cut the reserved 1/2 pint of strawberries into 1/4" dice, place in a small bowl, cover and refrigerate.
When ready to serve, place a small mound of diced strawberries in the center of each shallow soup plate or bowl, pour the chilled soup around the berriess, and serve.
Note 1: You can, if you wish, serve this with a scoop of soy vanilla ice cream.
Note 2: You can combine 1/2 cup of the soup with 1/2 cup of champagne for a lovely summer cocktail or with 1/2 cup of sparkling water for a non-alcoholic version.