Here is one of my favorite dessert recipes from my cookbook Aquavit: And The New Scandinavian Cuisine. This chilled fruit soup is a unique ending for a summer meal.
- 3 pints strawberries, hulled
- 6 cups water
- 1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (from about 4 oranges)
- 2 3-inch pieces ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
- 4-5 stalks fresh lemongrass, tough outer leaves removed tender inner stalks lightly smashed and sliced into 1/4-inch-thick rounds
- 1 bunch fresh mint, coarsely chopped including stalks (about 2 cups)
- 1 cup sugar
Set aside 1/2 pint of the strawberries, and thinly slice the rest.
Put the sliced strawberries in a large saucepan, 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 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside to steep for 1 hour.
Strain the strawberry soup into a bowl. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, at least 2 hours.
Meanwhile, cut the reserved strawberries into 1/4-inch dice. Transfer to a small bowl, cover, and refrigerate.
Place a small mound of diced strawberries in the center of each soup plate or bowl, pour the chilled soup around the berries, and serve.
You can, if you wish, top this soup with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Use only ripe, fragrant strawberries for this soup. Smaller berries often have a more intense flavor than larger ones.
For a delicious summer cocktail or refreshing drink, combine 1/2 cup of the soup with 1/2 cup Champagne or sparkling water and serve over ice.