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.
Local 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.
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.
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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