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Summer Strawberry Soup

When I was twelve I attended a weeklong summer cooking camp at Chef Central. Each day revolved around a different meal: Sunday brunch, 4th of July barbeque, and such. My favorite was the “light summer lunch” day. It was the first time I got to experiment with cold soups. The only cold soup I’d ever had was gazpacho, and as I’ve always detested peppers in any form, it was never a big hit with me. But at cooking camp we focused on cold fruit soups.

The great thing about cold fruit soups is that they’re really versatile. They’re pretty much great for any meal. I like to use them as desserts, because they go great with some biscotti or a simple cookie and are light enough to complement the season but heavy and sweet enough to satisfy a dessert craving.

The other day I was feeling in a very summery mood and decided to whip out one of those old soup recipes. I decided on strawberry because that just screams summer to me. It only takes about fifteen minutes to make, although you do have to let it sit in the fridge for a while after preparing it. After two excruciating hours I packed the soup up and brought it to my friend’s house for one of our “Sherlock and food” parties.

The soup was a hit. My friends loved it. I had some with a black and white cookie, some people just drank it like a smoothie, and one of my friends even used it as a sauce for her brownie (extremely advisable if you were wondering). Every way it proved delicious.

Recipe for Strawberry Soup

Makes 12 servings
• 3 pt. fresh strawberries
• 12 oz. sour cream
• 1 pt. cream
• ½ cup sugar
• juice of ½ lemon

Remove the stems from the strawberries and cut into quarters. Reserve on large strawberry for each serving for garnish. Puree the strawberries in a food processor or blender, adding the lemon, sugar and sour cream. Add the heavy cream and whip until slightly thick. Chill the soup in the refrigerator for 2-72 hours. Serve as a dessert or starter course in chilled bowls, garnished with a large strawberry cut almost in half, secured to the rim of the bowl. Garnish with mint if desired.

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