We had some gorgeous days in San Francisco last week. So I took it that spring had sprung.
Not so fast, Mother Nature said, sending us a deluge of rain over the weekend.
We are definitely in that in-between period, where we can taste the promise of warmer weather and sunshine, but are not quite there yet. Which is a good time for Strawberry Soup.
Strawberries are the harbingers of spring and their bright red color and little heart shapes make them the most cheerful ambassadors of the season. I bought some at the supermarket this weekend and while they were plump and juicy, they weren’t as sweet as berries at their peak.
So I turned them into Strawberry Soup, which brings back happy memories for me. We first had this cold soup-dessert in France. Our sons were quite young then and our family was traveling in northern France, paying homage at the World War II landing beaches in Normandy and then driving on to Mont Saint-Michel. We stayed at a sweet vine-covered hotel that came with a sumptuous dinner that was somehow affordable on our modest budget. And while I don’t remember the courses, the dessert, Strawberry Soup, was outstanding, made with French strawberries in season.
What I like about this soup is that it takes just a few minutes to make. It’s rich but much healthier than other desserts and it’s forgiving if you have less-than-perfect berries. You don’t need uniform shapes or sizes to make this recipe, and if the berries aren’t very sweet, just add more sugar. If the berries seem a little bland, add more orange liqueur or a little lemon or lime juice.
12 ounces (about 2 cups) strawberries
3 tablespoons sugar (if your berries are very sweet, less)
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice (about ½ orange)
1 teaspoon orange liqueur (optional)
½ cup nonfat Greek yogurt
Sweetened whipped cream or crème fraîche, for garnish
Mint sprigs, for garnish
Rinse and hull strawberries. In a food processor, add strawberries, 1 tablespoon of the sugar, orange juice and orange liqueur, if using. Process until berries are puréed. Taste and add additional sugar, if needed.
Add yogurt and process smooth. Taste and add additional sugar, if needed. You can also add more orange liqueur but sparingly, to keep the flavor spotlight on the strawberries.
Chill and serve in small bowls with a dollop of whipped cream; garnish with mint sprigs.
Makes 2 cups
- This is a very small dessert to just give a little bit of sweetness to finish a meal. For a more generous portion, double or triple the recipe.
- To make your own crème fraîche and save a little money, see Dave’s video. It’s super-easy.
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