Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Hooray for the Red, White, and Blue!

Since it's berry season again, it only makes sense to use up last year's berries in order to make room for the new.

Luckily, I only had one bag of local blueberries left in the freezer. The trouble is, after that big storm more than a week ago, I knew the thawed and refrozen berries would be mushy when thawed again.

What to do?

Well, when life hands you lemons, you make lemonade, right? (Unless you're the fair Titania, who makes lemon curd.) So when life hands you mushy berries, you really only have two options: jam or soup.

Since my cupboards are well stocked with jam, I chose the latter option. I had bookmarked a recipe for a lavender blueberry soup in my copy of Edible Flowers since I know I love the combination of lavender and blueberries.

Of course, as you well know by now, I couldn't follow that recipe to the letter. First of all, I didn't have enough blueberries, even for half a batch, so I added some fresh organic black raspberries. Then, I didn't have a bottle of red wine open, so I used starfruit wine that my Wonderful Parents brought me from Florida. And so on.

Still, the results were fantastic, because not only did the whole concoction smell wonderful as it simmered on the stove, but the flavors also mingled well on the palate, and the addition of yogurt plus the action of pureeing the soup resulted in a creamy, not-too-sweet dessert after my lovely lunch.

Red and blue berries, white yogurt, lots of local flavors from around the country blended into one delightful dish -- what better way to celebrate the Fourth of July?

Luscious Lavender Berry Soup

The original recipe in Edible Flowers used only blueberries along with red wine, orange juice concentrate, lemon juice, and more seasonings. While I'm sure that recipe is perfectly lovely, I'm fond of this fruit-filled version that has a subtlety all its own. Serve warm or chilled, and if you're not crazy about berry seeds getting stuck in your teeth, strain the pureed soup before adding the yogurt. If you've got a light buttery cookie on hand, tuck that alongside the soup and enjoy!

2 c blueberries
1 c raspberries (red or black)
1/2 c wine (red or white, something fruity)
1/2 c water
3 T honey
2 T orange syrup (leftover from making orange peel)
---substitute more honey or maple syrup if needed
1 T dried lavender blossoms
juice and rind of 1 lime
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/2 c plain nonfat yogurt

Place all ingredients except the yogurt in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down, cover, and simmer an additional 10 minutes. Allow to cool completely.

Puree soup thoroughly. Strain out seeds if desired. Add yogurt and puree once more for a creamy finish. Serve warm or chill and serve garnished with a sprinkling of lavender blossoms.

Serves 2-4


At 7/06/2006 11:05 AM, Blogger M said...

I just love your blog, I have to tell you that. Reading it always makes my mind lighter and shinier. And my tummy grows emptier and emptier and I want to start cooking at once!

At 7/06/2006 12:37 PM, Blogger The Baklava Queen said...

Thank you, Matilda! I'm glad you get as much enjoyment and inspiration from it as I try to do! (Sometimes I have to have food at hand when I write.... makes me hungry, too!)

I still have good vegetables left from the market... and a couple of adventures in the works for this month.... so stay tuned for more delicious food!

Happy cooking!


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