First, come with me on a strawberry picking adventure…
Chilled soups: They linger like loiterers, typed upon dog-eared menus in questionable restaurants.
Surely this cannot be true?
When I first saw a similar recipe in Kurma Dasa’s Great Vegetarian Dishes, I thought to myself, ‘how is a chilled soup any different to umm… Fruit juice?!’ I hear echoes of you asking me the same question.
So, this distinction is imperative to our exploration of chilled fruit soups- which, by the way, are refreshing and delicious. It’s not that I’m biased or anything. Our fruit soup is sweet, but not fruit juice sweet, smoothie sweet or even preserve sweet. That would be sacrilege. It is slightly sweet, made silky smooth with cornflour, and finished on a slightly savoury note with a pat of creamy salted butter whisked in for a quick gloss. Not a drop of juice in sight.
Still not convinced? Try it yourself and find out. Do it for me, poor Sanjana who went strawberry picking in the sweltering heat to provide you with a Chilled Sunshine Berry Soup to quench your parched tongues. I love guilt-tripping for all good reasons.
Mouth watering yet?
Also, while technically this isn’t a barbecued dish (why would it be?) it is the perfect starter or light dessert to any Summer BBQ. FYI, I love loopholes like I love guilt-tripping.
Chilled Sunshine Berry Soup
1kg mixed berries (I used 500g strawberries, 250g pitted cherries and 250g blackberries)- reserve a handful of each kind of berry to serve
75g granulated sugar
2 tbsp cornflour
1 litre cold water
1. Place the berries in a large pan, reserving a handful of each kind of berry to serve.
2. Add the sugar and cook on a medium heat, stirring constantly. Press the berries with the back of a wooden spoon to crush them slightly. It will take around 15-20 minutes for them to cook thoroughly.
3. Place a sieve over a large pan and strain the berry mixture through it, pressing through as much pulp as possible.
4. Mix the cornflour with the cold water and add it to the strained berry mixture.
5. Place back on the heat and whisk until slightly thickened. Whisk in 50g of butter until melted.
6. Allow to cool to room temperature and refrigerate until chilled and ready to serve.
7. Serve in a deep bowl, adding the reserved berries for some texture and that feeling of virtuousness when you eat fruit and truly enjoy it…