I am a happy (although busy) man in the Summer. A few days ago, I saw some fresh strawberries at a fruit and veg shop in Killarney, and there were two remarkable things about them – 1. They had an odour, and 2. There was real earth attached to some of them (i.e it was not hydroponically grown). Yes, Irish fruit is back in season, and it’s something to savour!
Then I had to go to Dublin, and I stopped off at Sweetbank Farm in Wicklow. I’ve written about them before, and I highly suggest that anyone in the area go visit. Their fruit is sublime, and they serve it out of a delightful farm shop with fresh cream and a coffee if you want it.
In any case, I bought back trays of fruit for making ice cream, and I took a punnet of strawberries for myself. I had strawberry soup on the brain, and I decided to whip some up.
Fruit soups are rare in these parts, but you’d find them on the continent. It’s a great thing to serve before the main course of a nice meal (instead of a sorbet) – it cleans the palate and is guaranteed to wow the guests!
Chilled Strawberry Soup
500gm Fresh Strawberries
300 ml water, boiling
2 Tablespoon sugar
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons balsamic vineger
Pinch of black pepper.
What to Do:
1. Put the sugar in a blender or food processor, add the boiling water and blend briefly to dissolve.
2. Add the strawberries and puree until smooth.
3. Add the rest of the ingredients, blending briefly to incorporate them.
4. Chill the soup thoroughly.
5. Garnish with yoghurt and a bit of mint and serve!