What’s that you say? Something (gasp) healthy on a baking blog? Well, it is true. You see, I am currently sidelined with an injury, so I am opting for less cake and more healthful choices. That being said, I have an out of control sweet tooth, so I am always searching for healthy recipes that will satisfy my burning desire for sugary sweetness.
And if there is anything at all fortunate about my running injury (because deep introspection, pain-loathing, and wallowing in self-pity just don’t count as fortunes), it is that my injury coincides with a happy harvesting accident in the strawberry world. The Florida harvest is late this year and the California harvest is slightly early…which means we consumers are being hit from every direction by delicious strawberries! What a beautiful food fight! And so very affordable!
So basically you have no excuse to not make this warm-weather friendly recipe. It is healthy. It is cheap. It is easy. Oh, and it is delightfully delicious.
The recipe calls for fresh strawberries, lemon, and oranges…all of which are absolutely beautiful and abundant this time of the year.
It also calls for rose water which, fortunately, is not that difficult to find these days. I found some at The Fresh Market. I don’t doubt that it is also available at Whole Foods, and you can probably get it at Publix or the like. Or look for it at a Middle Eastern food market, as it is commonly used in Iranian cuisine.
Rose water is literally distilled rose petals. It smells and tastes amazing. And you can use it for loads of recipes, including this one, which I am dying to try.
Strawberry Soup (printer-friendly version below)
Adapted from The New York Times
My Rating: *** ½
Hubby’s Rating: well, he didn’t try it.
Yield: Serves 4 (side-dish sizes)
2 ¼ pounds ripe strawberries (at least 2 packages), hulled
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (you should only need 1 lemon)
1 tablespoon sugar (or Splenda)
1 tablespoon honey, plus more to taste
1 teaspoon rose water
½ cup freshly squeezed orange juice (you should only need 1 large orange)
Fresh mint for garnish (optional)
Choose about ¼ of the prettiest strawberries from the bunch and slice them in thin vertical slices. In a sealable container, toss the strawberries with 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice and the sugar (or Splenda). Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour.
Quarter the remaining strawberries and place them in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a food processor fitted with a steel blade. If you are using the mixer, blend on medium speed until the strawberries form a coarse puree. If you are using a food processor, pulse until you reach the same consistency.
Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, the orange juice, the honey, and the rose water. Beat on medium-high speed until blended. Taste, adding more honey if desired.
Chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Just before serving, stir in the sliced strawberries with the juice that has accumulated in the container. Ladle into bowls, top with mint if desired, and serve.
The soup will keep, refrigerated in an airtight container, for up to 2 days.
For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, click here: Strawberry Soup