When I post random polls like last week’s poll, it’s a certainty that the option I have nothing actually planned for will win. It’s cosmic. This trend was continued when “something cold” won. I mean, I know and love lots of cold things. Beer, for example, is cold.
But I didn’t have anything particularly in mind for a cold dish. I was mentioning my little dilemma to Betsy and she said that she saw an interesting recipe for a chilled strawberry soup. Given that it was the hottest weekend of the summer (so far) last weekend, that sounds very delicious to me so I thought I’d give it a go.
1) Mix pineapple juice, grated ginger, and sugar in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium-low heat. Stir and simmer for 5 minutes until it resembles a thin syrup. Set aside to cool.
2) Ball your honeydew and cantaloupe with a melon baller. Once your syrup is cool, pour the syrup over the melon and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.
3) For the soup, clean fruit and add to a food processor. Pulse until smooth. Add dairy and continue to pulse. I recommend tasting as you go. I added too much sour cream to mine and the final taste was a bit tangy. Taste and adjust people.
4) Once the soup is done, chill it in the fridge for at least 4 hours.
5) Serve the soup with the melon balls and garnish with fresh chopped basil if you want.
Adapted from The Better Homes & Gardens Cookbook.
I think this recipe turned out okay. It wasn’t my favorite but I also had built it up in mind to a level that was maybe not attainable with real food.
Making the Syrup
The first part of this recipe really intrigued me and actually made the recipe. You make a quick pineapple/ginger syrup and then soak some melon in that syrup overnight to infuse some flavor. It’s a delicious addition to the soup.
The original recipe used pineapple juice but I thought it might be an improvement to blend up some fresh pineapple and use that!
NOTE: I don’t think fresh pineapple really added much to the dish. If you want to try this recipe, just use pineapple juice and save yourself some time!
After that, making the syrup is as simple as combining the grated ginger, pineapple juice, and some sugar in a small pot.
Bring this to a boil and let it simmer for about 5 minutes until it resembles a thin syrup.
Meanwhile, get out your trusty melon baller and get to work!
I used half of a honeydew and a quarter of a cantaloupe. Once you get out as many balls as possible, don’t forget to scrape the melon with a spoon to get all the leftovers! That’s a great snack!
Once your syrup is done, let it cool for a few minutes and then pour it over your melon. Refrigerate this for at least 4 hours, but it’s best overnight.
The Soup Part
This was the part of the recipe that I think could be improved. I think if I were making it again, I’d leave out the sour cream and maybe substitute a few Tablespoons of heavy cream or just use yogurt and milk. The sour cream gave the soup a really tangy flavor that overpowered the strawberries.
Making the soup is pretty straightforward though. Just clean your strawberries and add them to your processor or blender of choice!
I absolutely love my new food processor.
Give it a few pulses and then add the other quarter of your cantaloupe. The cantaloupe works well with the strawberries, but if you want a really intense strawberry flavor, you could leave it out I think.
Process that all together some more until it’s a liquid and then add in all your dairy products. Again, I think this is where the recipe could be improved.
I did a bad job of tasting as I went here and just threw in all the dairy that the recipe called for only to be disappointed with the final flavor.
So, I relearned a lesson that I already knew: TASTE AS YOU GO PEOPLE.
Anyway… So once this soup is done, it also needs to chill for at least a few hours, but the original recipe says to chill it overnight!
Then garnish it with some of the infused melon and, if you have some, some chopped basil! The basil is very optional and not in the original recipe.
So to be completely honest, I didn’t love this soup as much as I thought I would. It’s not that it tasted bad, it’s just that the flavors were really complicated, maybe too complicated. When I think of strawberry soup, I want something simple that tastes of strawberries, but this was a mix of a ton of different flavors.
I think the main problem I had with this recipe though was that I didn’t really taste it as I went (I should know better I know). So if you’re adventurous enough to try this, taste as you go and let me know what you change!
Meanwhile, I’m going to try to work on a strawberry soup recipe that’s simple and really delicious. If you have any strawberry soup tips/recommendations, leave a comment!