Strawberries and rhubarb are as fresh and delightful as the spring air they herald. They pair wonderfully in recipes and add a burst of color as well as tang. The natural sweetness of the strawberries lends itself well to rhubarb’s tartness for a perfect balance of flavors.
While many people opt for a creamy potato leek soup, or a cheesy french onion soup for their dairy Shavuous meal, I like to take advantage of the fresh seasonal fruits for a cold and refreshing fruit soup. Think about it – you’ve got steaming lasagna coming, and lots of rich and creamy cheesecake for dessert, who needs another heavy plate of soup? This light and refreshing soup makes the perfect starter.
NOTE: the leaves of a rhubarb plant contain oxalic acid and can be toxic. While many stores sell the stalks already trimmed, make sure all the leaves are removed before using.
With minor tweaking, you can also use this recipe as an ice cream sauce or compote, see below for details.
Strawberry Rhubarb Soup
5 stalks rhubarb (1 lb.)
1 container strawberries (1 lb.)
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 cup pomegranate juice (I like Pom)
1 cinnamon stick
pinch of allspice
pinch of nutmeg
mascarpone, creme fraiche, sour cream or plain yogurt
mint leaves, for garnish
Hull and clean strawberries and cut into quarters. Remove leaves from rhubarb, clean and dice. Add fruit to a pot to which water, juice, sugar and spices have been added. Bring to a boil, lower heat, and simmer for 20-30 minutes, breaking up the fruit with a spoon every few minutes. Leave the soup to cool and blend with an immersion blender, regular blender, or food processor. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
To serve, spoon a dollop of mascarpone, creme fraiche, sour cream, or yogurt over the soup. If you’d like, you can use a knife to swirl in the cream (as pictured), or you can mix it into the soup. Garnish with mint leaves.
TIP: To use this recipe to make ice cream sauce, leave out the 1 cup of water (just use 1 cup of pomegranate juice) and simmer for 15 minutes, breaking up the fruit with a spoon. Do not blend. Cool and serve over ice cream or as compote.
NOTE: If using frozen strawberries and rhubarb, leave out the cup of water (you can adjust the consistency and taste after cooking by adding a bit more water or sugar, if needed).
Yield: approximately 6 cups soup.