Swedish Strawberry Mint Soup

Total Time
3hrs 25mins
Prep
25 mins
Cook
3 hrs

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. Cooking time includes three hours of cooling/chilling time.

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Ingredients

Nutrition
  • 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

Directions

  1. Set aside 1/2 pint of the strawberries and thinly slice the rest.
  2. 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.
  3. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for five minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and set aside to steep for an hour.
  5. After steeping, strain the strawberry mixture through a fine sieve, mashing the strawberries to get the maximum strained liquid.
  6. Discard the solids.
  7. Cover and refrigerate the liquid--your strawberry soup--until well chilled--at least two hours.
  8. Meanwhile, cut the reserved 1/2 pint of strawberries into 1/4" dice, place in a small bowl, cover and refrigerate.
  9. 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 berries and serve.
  10. Note 1: You can, if you wish, serve this with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
  11. 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.