Sunday, August 16, 2009

Red Currant Soup, A Cold and Sweet Treat for Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays

Just for something a bit different this week I decided to make a fruit soup. Whole Foods was selling red currants and I bought some intending to bake with them but I was flipping through Cold Soups by Linda Ziedrich and found a recipe for Red Currant Soup and I wanted to try it. 

Fruit soups are often meant to be eaten as dessert although they don't have to be as Ziedrich mentions in the book; "I call the dishes in this chapter dessert soups because all of them are sweet, but this doesn't mean you have to save them until after dinner. In most of Europe, where cold soups are old favorites, they are usually served for dessert, but Scandinavians like them for breakfast or lunch. Cold fruit soups are an elegant way to celebrate the summer harvest at brunches with company, and make refreshing afternoon snacks. A light fruit soup will even stand in well for a dinner salad."

Red Currant Soup
Cold Soups, Linda Ziedrich
(Serves 6)

4 cups red currants
1 2-inch cinnamon stick 
2 whole cloves
2 lemon slices
3/4 cup sugar
3 cups water
1 1/2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 1/2 Tbsp each cornstarch and water, combined
heavy cream, for garnish (optional)

In a saucepan, simmer the currants, cinnamon, cloves, lemon slices, and sugar in the 3 cups water until the currents are very soft, about 15 minutes. Remove the lemon slices, cinnamon and cloves. Put the mixture through the fine screen of a food mill, or force it through a fine mesh strainer. Return the mixture to the pan, and add the lemon juice and the cornstarch mixture. Heat, stirring until the soup is thickened. Let the soup cool, then chill it. Serve the chilled soup with a swirl of heavy cream if you like.  

Notes/Results: The soup is lightly tangy, slightly sweet with a good flavor and a gorgeous color. I just made a half batch to try it out, and I lessened the sugar slightly to keep it on the tart side. I served it two different ways; in small bowls with a garnish of Greek yogurt sweetened with a little vanilla and honey and some mint, and then with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and some blueberries. It was good both ways but especially with the ice cream and berries. I would make it again to serve with ice cream or maybe try the very similar blueberry version from the book. 

Let's see who ended up in the Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays Kitchen this week.

Deciding she needed to clean the refrigerator and use up all the bits and pieces, Chaya from Chaya's Comfy Cook Blog created this How to Clean a Fridge Soup. She says, "I found mini hamburgers, I made from the stuffed burgers, for CEIMB. They looked like little disks. Then, I found the remains of a salad, we had the other night with some corn and carrots. Next was the orange pepper, some tomatoes that were soft, some stalks of celery, a lone zucchini and onions. That spelled soup and that meant Souper Sunday."

Please join me in welcoming Libby from The Allergic Kid, hailing from Florida with a kid-pleasing Alphabet Soup. Libby says, "We recently had a rare (for summer in the Sunshine State) long and rainy, Cat in the Hat kind of day. After a morning of coloring books, DVD's, overcast skies and unending drizzle, I broke out the Dutch oven despite the season to make a cold weather favorite for lunch." It's great to have you join us Libby!

Kait from Pots and Plots is back this week with a hearty Beef Vegetable Soup. She says, "I’m feeling kind of lousy today. Since no diet on earth allows my mama’s chicken and dumplins (my preferred comfort food), I had to come up with some other form of soup for comfort food. Yeah it’s August, but sick or feeling lousy still calls for soup. So here’s my entry for Kahakai Kitchen’s Souper Sunday."

Laura from Hey What's For Dinner Mom? is here with not one, but two soups this week. First up, her Roasted Chewbacca Soup. Laura says, "Never heard of wookiee soup? Well it's what we had for lunch today and it was delicious. OK, what we really had was Roasted Kabocha Soup not Chewbacca but my kids thought I said Chewbacca and so that is what we ate. And it was delicious. And they loved it. Good enough for me."

Then she has her Broccoli Cheese Summer Soup, which she made when her Mom gave her a shopping bag full of broccoli. Laura says, "Summer broccoli and cheesy goodness a perfect blend." I couldn't agree more! Welcome back Laura!

Back from vacation, Ulrike from Küchenlatein has this gorgeous Red Lentil Soup with Roasted Pepper to share. Ulrike says this is "a simple, but delicious soup using oven roasted vegetables. While the peppers, onions and garlic cool down, cook the lentils until tender. Peel the pepper and blitz with lentils and other vegetables. For seasoning I used just a pinch smoked paprika, giving the soup that extra something. Serve with basil and parmesan shavings." 

You never know how or when inspiration will strike! Reeni of Cinnamon & Spice says, "My Mom was busily making meatballs last week when I heard her say "I almost put Chile powder in the meatballs." Light bulbs immediately lit up inside me. Chile powder meatballs sounded mighty appealing. Three seconds later Chipotle Meatball Chili was born and the recipe was being shaped in my mind. This was absolutely delicious! It was a near perfect and much-needed comfort meal paired with green tomato and Swiss cheese corn muffins."

Feeling the heat, Natashya from Living in the Kitchen with Puppies made this Cold Cucumber and Cumin Soup to enjoy. She says, "It's hot. The dog days of summer are upon us. A perfect time for a cold soup, made in the blender. This type of soup is great because you can make it ahead of time and leave it in the fridge to chill. Do some grocery shopping...have your man grill up some ribs.This cool refreshing soup was the perfect foil for hot, sticky and oh-so-spicy ribs. Healthy too!"

Alisa from One Frugal Foodie is here with her Mellow Maple-Miso Salad Dressing, that she created in order to have a healthier, better version than her husband's favorite store-bought miso. Served over a salad packed full of colorful veggies, Alisa says, "Every miso dressing recipe I try is either too bland, too salty, or just somehow off, but this blend hit my taste buds just right. My husband agreed that this one is really good, and though quite different from his usual oil-laden, store-bought version, he is happy to make the transition …" 

"Last week was a little heavy on the cheese and carbs, so I’ve been craving vegetables. This salad hit the spot, and was a great way to use up some random ingredients that I had around the kitchen", says L.K. from Healthy. Delicious., about her Buffalo Chicken Salad. "In order to make the chicken tenders extra crispy but cut down on the fat, I started with boneless, skinless chicken breasts. I coated them in panko breadcrumbs and browned them quickly in some oil before finishing them in the oven. The breading came out really well this way – nice and crispy, but not greasy. They chicken also stayed nice and moist."

If this Grilled Steak Sandwich with Horeseradish Yogurt Sauce and Sweet Potato and Corn Salad is an example of how house guests are fed when they stay with Chrystal and Amir of The Duo Dishes, sign me up for a long visit please! Both the sandwich, made with some of their FoodBuzz Tastemakers Emeril goodies, and the sweet potato and corn salad with it's hints of cinnamon and apple cider vinegar look like terrific summer crowd-pleasers.

Wow--what a great variety of dishes to share this week! Thanks to everyone who joined us. If you have a soup, salad, sandwich, (or combination of any of the three), that you would like to share at Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays, click on the logo on the side bar for all the details.

Have a wonderful week!


  1. ahhh great to be back at Souper Sundays! Nice round-up!

  2. There are wonderful soups and salads here including yours. I have to go blog hopping and get some of these recipes. Yum.

  3. Thanks so much for including me in your lovely round up!

  4. the red currant soup is so cool and different

  5. Wow, what a turn out!
    Deb, your pictures are beyond gorgeous! Love the colour of the soup.

  6. fruit soup sounds so refreshing!

  7. that currant soup is beautiful and it sounds delicious! I've never seen fresh currant,s but i do like the dried ones a lot. Also, you're bowl is really pretty. :)

  8. Your red currant soup looks amazing - the colours are incredible. Reminds me to make a borscht before winter slips away....

  9. I love soup. I really should make it more often, except my husband is more of a salad person. Funny how that Your red currant soup is absolutely beautiful!

  10. You've put together another wonderful round-up. Tour currant soup is the prettiest soup I've seen this summer. Kudos.

  11. Another delicious set of Sunday goodies. You're making everyone hungry and long for the weekend!

  12. I'm intrigued by the red currant soup, very unique, a must try!

  13. Desserts should be pretty and your soup is! I bet it was delicious! Wonderful round-up!


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