Sunday, June 20, 2010

Chunky Berry Soup

Posted by PicasaThis is a luscious summer soup, probably our favorite.  I found the recipe in the Inqy.  Eventually I realized that the strawberries were from Watsonville, CA and discovered that the PA strawberry season is short and precedes the blueberry season.  Now I watch for the strawberries very closely, and with luck, like this year - you can snag strawberries at their end and blueberries at their beginning.
A perfect alternative is to substitute about 3 or 4 peeled, sliced ripe peaches.  You get the same texture and the same spectacular color, and the peach and blueberry season are in tandem here in the mid-Atlantic. I often double this recipe, since leftovers are so good.  It's important to make it early enough so that it can chill for 5-6 hours.

1 pint blueberries, washed and drained
1 pint strawberries, hulled and halved or quartered, if they're large
1 c. white grape juice
1/4 c. lemon juice
1/3 c. water
1 T + 2 t cornstarch
1/4 to 1/2 sugar

Place blueberries, strawberries, grape juice and lemon juice into a medium sauce pan, cover.  Bring to a brisk boil over high heat.  With a gas oven top, that takes awhile; with our new electric stove, it's really fast.  The only thing that takes any real time in this recipe is slicing the strawberries.

Remove from heat. In a measuring cup, mix the water and cornstarch into a smooth paste and stir it into the berry mixture. Return to heat, and quickly bring to a boil, stirring constantly.  This is the neat part - stir for one minute, and the liquid thickens and glistens.  Sweeten to taste with sugar.
Chill thoroughly - for at least 5 to 6 hours. The color deepens. 
Garnish with chopped fresh mint, sliced fresh fruit.  This is a deep, gorgeous color so serve it in bowls which will show that off!  It is refreshing, beautiful, and the lemon juice gives it a lovely tartness which tingles a bit on the tongue.  MMMMM.  But it's pretty sweet, as well - my niece Tasha dubbed it Fruit Roll Up Soup.

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