Chilled Strawberry and Red Wine Soup

This is vibrant, simple, delicious, and make ahead. Who could ask for more from the last of the Autumn strawberries?

My friend Ray gave me this recipe many years ago, and it always makes an appearance in our house along with the local strawberries. We often served this soup at high summer for a brunch starter at the inn, but it serves nicely as dessert as well. It remains a hit with (adult) family and friends. Of course, the best time to make this is in June when the strawberries are their best, but the little reappearance in fall is perfect too.

strawberries i a bowlLocal strawberries are sweet, deeply colored throughout, and intensely flavored. When these jewels are in abundance, you can think about making jam and pies, and even strawberry soup.              Photo: The New Vintage Kitchen

Sadly, Ray passed away last week, so I am rerunning this recipe as a tribute to him. For more about this remarkable person, here is a link to my article in our local county newspaper: One more story to tell.

I found some beautiful Autumn strawberries last week, which made me think of the recipe, and although they will probably be even harder to find this week, in a pinch you can substitute frozen.

Strawberry season extended

Summer strawberry time is long over, but many of our local berry farms have the ever-bearing strawberries still available, so I was able to extend my own strawberry season. They are a little smaller, with lively strawberry flavor, and just what we need as fall sets in.

This chilled soup is fresh and delicious and really beautiful to look at as well! For a special touch, chill little clear glass bowls so that they are frosted when filled.

My additions to the original recipe are the vanilla bean pod and the drizzle of luscious local yoghurt to finish. You can also use a plant-based yoghurt, sour cream, or even crème fraîche here as well.

Many variations

This soup is not as sweet as other berry soups because of the addition of the wine, and the lower sugar count. Use this recipe with the same proportions for any number of summer berry and fruit soups. If you use blackberries or raspberries with really large seeds, you will want to strain the pureed mixture before continuing.

This is wonderful with all berries, as well as peaches and apricots when they are aplenty!

Double this recipe for a crowd.

Strawberry & Red Wine Soup

  • 1 quart fresh strawberries
  • ½ white sugar
  • 1 cups water
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • Good pinch of Kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • The grated zest of one large lemon
  • 1 cup Rhine or dry red wine
  • Greek yoghurt, or plant based, thinned with a few drops lemon juice
  • Fresh mint leaves, optional

 Puree the berries in a food processor. Split the vanilla bean and scrape the seeds with the dull side of a knife, and add to the strawberries. Process until smooth, and let sit.

In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the sugar, water, and vanilla bean pod. Bring to a boil for 5 minutes to make a simple sugar syrup. Cool.

Add the cooled syrup to the berries along with the salt, pepper, lemon juice, and zest. Pulse until blended, and chill the whole thing in a bowl. Pop the wine and the serving dishes in the refrigerator too. You can do this the night before, or two hours before serving.

Just before serving, stir in the chilled wine, fill the bowls, and swirl a teaspoon or so of the yoghurt on top; garnish with a few sliced strawberries and perhaps a mint leaf for a little color.

Variations:

Non-alcoholic version: Substitute unsweetened cranberry juice for the wine.

Peaches and Cream Soup     

 Substitute fresh peaches for the strawberries, and a dry white wine for the red. You can use the yoghurt, or just regular softly whipped cream or creme fraich.

 Summer Mixed Berry Soup

Use a combination of raspberries and blackberries rather than the strawberries, and use a rose wine. I add an extra splash of raspberry liquor drizzled over the cream just before serving.

Late Summer Melon Soup

When you find the giant, lovely, sweet muskmelons from the local farms, use these as your base fruit, and a sweeter Chardonnay as your wine. Really delicious!

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53 Comments Add yours

  1. Chef Mimi says:

    I’m so sorry for your loss. Great and interesting recipe! I’ll make this next spring with my garden ripe berries!

    1. It’s a good recipe to have on hand!

  2. Truly a different and delicious soup.

    1. Thank you Jovina! It’s really a crowd pleaser.

  3. terrie gura says:

    Dorothy, this soup sounds magnificent and makes me wish I had access to some local strawberries right now. Your tribute to Ray in the Commons News is very touching (I’m not crying, you’re crying!), and I have no doubt that your entire community will be recalling those wonderful memories for a long time! Sincere condolences for the loss of your brother-friend. 💕

    1. Thanks Terrie! He touched a lot of lives and leaves a big hole. One of his community efforts was serving on the board of trustees of The Commons, which is a non-profit!

  4. TaMara says:

    Condolences on the loss of your friend. He sounds like he was an amazing story – really enjoyed the article. The recipe looks delicious – love strawberries – and thanks for the non-alcoholic suggestion. I often cook with bourbon and whiskey, but wine and I do not get along (headaches) so I’m always happy for a solution.

    1. Thanks TaMara! I know a lot of people get headaches from red wine, and they are usually the people who love red the best!

  5. TaMara says:

    *person, not story!

    1. I knew what you meant!

  6. gabychops says:

    Perfect for the end of summer!

    Joanna

    1. Bittersweet! But I love the change of the seasons and we have beautiful color here now.

  7. NativeNM says:

    What a wonderful tribute to your friend. I will keep this recipe on hand for the time those sweet strawberries are in season.

    1. Thanks Jan! It’s good any time of year, but best when the local berries are in season.

  8. How lovely to still have strawberries and this sounds delicious. I’m so sorry to hear about your friend.

    1. Thank you so much. He will be missed.
      I bought more strawberries this afternoon! Not complaining.

  9. Carole says:

    I am sorry to read about your friend, Ray and his recent passing. The strawberry soup sounds good. I know I can pick up fresh strawberries at The City Market coop in Burlington. Best wishes.

    1. Oh, I’m sure City Market has them still! I just picked up a quart tonight from the Shelburne Market! No frost yet, so the season continues, remarkably!

  10. Anonymous says:

    Beautiful colour of that soup

  11. Suzassippi says:

    I love strawberries, and dry reds, so this would seem like a good one to try. What does one serve with it, if anything? Is it a starter course?

    1. I have used this as a brunch starter course, and as a dessert. It pretty much stands on its own!

  12. Ronit says:

    The recipe is wonderful, so full of flavors. A great tribute to your friend.
    Sorry for your loss!

    1. Thank you Ronit! I am always happy when I make this recipe!

  13. C.A. Post says:

    Prayers are with you every day, Dorothy, but especially in the loss of your friend.
    “We try to suppress the thought of death, or escape it, or run away from it because we think that’s where we’ll find happiness, but it’s actually in facing the darkest realities of life that we find light in them.” Theresa Aletheia Noble

    1. Good words my friend, and thank you for sharing this. I think that is exactly one of the reasons we hold wakes and funerals; you can’t escape the reality of the death.

  14. This sounds absolutely delightful! What a delicious combination.

    1. Thank you! It’s awfully good, and not too sweet.

  15. Christy B says:

    I normally sip my red wine in a glass but I’m very happy to enjoy it in a big ol’ bowl too! 😉

    1. Eating your red wine with a spoon is a whole different experience!

  16. I have never had a cold berry soup, now I want some! Our growing season is just finishing up as fall is her. My husband tore out his half of the garden today.

    1. We’ll give it a try Diane, I think you’ll love it!

  17. nancyc says:

    This soup sounds wonderful—what a great way to use strawberries! It looks so rich and full of strawberry flavor!

    1. It’s a favorite here, and there were so many wonderful strawberries this fall, we got to enjoy it again!

  18. Sherry M says:

    i have made a very similar soup with cherries. Think it’s called Israeli cherry soup! delicious in summer. refreshing.

    1. Oh, I bet it is marvelous with cherries! Next year…

  19. I’m sorry for your loss, but what a guy. We should all aspire to have a life lived to the fullest like his. Wow! As for the recipe, it looks delicious. I would have never dreamed of this recipe, but it sure looks good.

    1. Thanks Judy! He was a great guy who knew how to live each day fully, always looking ahead.

  20. Gail says:

    Losing a friend is so heartbreaking. Keeping his memory alive with this recipe means he’ll always be with you in spirit. Blessings. 🍃🍓

    1. Thank you Gail! It will always be Ray’s soup!

      1. Gail says:

        Just like my peanut butter fudge will always be my Mom’s fudge. 🌸🍃💕

  21. CarolCooks2 says:

    A beautiful tribute to your friend, Dorothy and a lovely way to remember him with the soup which sounds delicious 🙂 x

    1. Thank you Carol! He was glad to share the recipe.

      1. CarolCooks2 says:

        He sounds like a lovely man, Dorothy 😊 x

      2. He was Carol, and he made a difference in many people’s lives.

  22. sunisanthosh says:

    Condolences for the loss of your friend. Delicious cold berry soup.

    1. Thank you! His soup is definitely a keeper!

  23. Nancy says:

    I’m so sorry for the loss of your friend. What a lovely tribute in the newspaper you wrote.
    Many moons ago when working at a private preparatory school… the chef would make a strawberry soup for spring luncheons. This reminds me of it. Thank you for the sweet memories. And I am going to pin this for the spring! Perfect for Book Club meetings! Thank you!

    1. Thanks Nancy! Oh yes, I can see this being well received at a book club meeting in June!

  24. Ally Bean says:

    Delicious sounding and it looks picture perfect. I might try it with cranberry juice if I see any decent strawberries. Maybe next spring now that I think about it.

    1. Something to look forward to Ally!

  25. Julia says:

    Dear Dorothy – you have my sympathy for the loss of your friend. The recipe you shared sounds intriguing.

    1. Thank you Julia. He is certainly leaving a big hole in the lives of so many. This soup and few other of his recipes will always remind me of him.

  26. Rehoboth says:

    Excellent
    Thanks

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