A recent post about fruit-shaped bowls and the best foods to serve in them on the HGTV Design Happens blog got me thinking about chilled fruit soups. Then, on the most recent Food Network Star episode, one of the contestants made a roasted strawberry cupcake. Putting the two ideas together, I decided to try making a chilled strawberry soup with roasted strawberries! My goal was to duplicate a refrigerated packaged soup that was sold many years ago in the supermarket but is now unavailable. Unlike most cold fruit soups, this one had no milk, cream, yogurt, or sour cream in it, but did have red wine. I took a simple recipe I found on the internet and modified it, and was actually able to reproduce the soup I remembered fairly accurately. Even my husband, who was skeptical of cold fruit soups, loved it! Roasting strawberries enhances their sweetness, but if you do not want to bother with the additional steps, I will include the original recipe as well, and also some variations. Whichever way you choose to make this soup, it is perfect for a hot summer day!
Tipsy Strawberry Soup
4 C. trimmed and halved strawberries
5 T. sugar
2 C. cold water
1/2 C. red wine
2 T. Grand Marnier
Combine 2 C. strawberries with 4 T. sugar in a baking dish and arrange berries in one layer. Roast at 425 degrees 15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes. Cool, then purée in a blender. Add water, then pour into a bowl. Add wine and Grand Marnier. Purée 1 C. berries briefly in blender, then add to bowl. Add 1 T. sugar to remaining 1 C. berries and mash coarsely (I used a fork and knife together to get the right chunky texture). Add to bowl. Chill, then serve cold as an appetizer or dessert, topped with a dollop of sour cream or yogurt and a sprig of mint, if desired. Serves 8.
Notes: Substitute pomegranate juice for the wine and orange juice for the Grand Marnier if you prefer a non-tipsy version. Also, since strawberries vary in sweetness, taste after puréeing the roasted berries and add more sugar as needed.
Variation: For an extremely fast and easy version, combine all ingredients (including 1/2 C. sour cream or yogurt if desired) in a food processor and blend until smooth. You may need to increase the amount of sugar to get the desired sweetness. Chill and serve.