|Chilled Strawberry Soup|
|Written by Shilo Urban|
Strawberries are the star fruit of the summer season, and for good reason: The bright red color and fresh sweet taste lift the spirit, thrill the taste buds and remind us of happy times. Strawberry shortcake, strawberry milkshakes and strawberry pie all no doubt have a special place in your heart. But have you ever tried strawberry soup?
Cool, sweet and delicious, strawberry soup tastes a little like melted strawberry ice cream and is perfect as an appetizer or dessert for a light summer meal. Serve it at a seasonal party or brunch as a special treat and enjoy the looks on your guests’ faces as they experience this unique dish for the first time. Children will especially love this soup!
Strawberries are actually not true berries and those seeds on the outside aren’t seeds – they’re achenes. Nevertheless, strawberries remain a fan favorite throughout the warmer months and can be found quite cheaply during the summer, particularly if you live in a warm growing climate. The pretty heart-shaped fruits are also fairly easy to grow in a home garden and let off an enticing aroma.
If you don’t grow your own, be sure to only use organic strawberries, as commercial strawberries have some of the most toxic levels of pesticides of any fruit or vegetable. Organic strawberries also have higher levels of vitamin C and antioxidants than do commercial varieties, and will survive longer without rotting.
Buy your produce at your local farmers market if possible, and be sure to smell the strawberries – ripe and ready berries will give off a wonderful, sweet aroma. If your strawberries have no smell, they won’t have much of a taste, either. Your strawberries should have the green tops attached and no dark or mushy spots. In a pinch (or in the winter), you can also use frozen strawberries – just be sure to thaw them first.
Ingredients (Serves 4):
2 cups fresh organic strawberries + extra for garnish
1 cup organic vanilla yogurt
1/4 cup organic orange juice
½ cup organic heavy cream
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Fresh mint for garnish
1. Wash 2 cups of strawberries well, remove their green tops and throw into a blender. Blend until smooth.
2. Slowly add the yogurt and then the orange juice into the blender with the strawberries and blend until smooth.
3. Move the pink concoction to a large bowl and fold in the heavy cream along with the vanilla.
4. Chill for at least one hour in the refrigerator – overnight is even better.
5. Pour the soup into individual bowls and garnish with fresh mint and/or strawberry slices with the pretty green tops still on. Serve the chilled strawberry soup with muffins for breakfast, as a party appetizer, a special dessert or enjoy it all by itself!
Note: If your strawberries aren’t sweet enough, you may want to add a couple of teaspoons of honey to sweeten things up. Also, if your soup isn’t pink enough for your liking, add a few drops of Seelect’s all-natural, gluten-free vegan red food coloring.