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.
- 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 sieve, 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 berries and serve.
- Note 1: You can, if you wish, serve this with a scoop of 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.
Made this for a special dinner and it got rave reviews. We all loved it! I thought there might be too much ginger for my taste but it was perfect. I used lemon balm instead of verbena because that is what I had. We had it with ice cream but I would not recommend that...it was best all by itself. I will make this again. So easy!
Wonderful, loved it!!!
I drank mine with some champagne as suggested. Such a nice change from the more commonplace mimosa. I loved the way the ginger and lemongrass gave this a more complex and sophisticated flavor to one of my favorite fruits.