As most of you know, I am only a part-time bnb owner.
Well, I’m a full-time owner, I suppose, but only a part-time worker. (And there are some who would say that I’m only a part-time part-time employee!)
While the hub is at the inn every day, laughing with our guests, sampling the newest dessert recipes, and generally having a pretty good time, I spend my weekdays slaving over a hot computer, working for Farm Credit in Maryland. Sometimes, I’m slaving away in my home office in St. Auggie, and sometimes, I’m slaving away at my office office in Maryland (in fact, as I write this, I’m watching the clock because I have a 7:25 flight I have to catch for Baltimore).
Last week, I was in Maryland, visiting with our local members of Congress. As part of Farm Credit’s legislative outreach, we hold an event called “A Taste of Farm Credit.” The deal is, we bring in tons of local food and produce (eggs, beef, , chicken, potatoes, cheeses, strawberries, blueberries, lettuces, etc) and ask a local chef to turn it into magic. (Which he does).
One of my favorite things he makes is a chilled strawberry soup. He serves it in tiny plastic cups, like the kind you might use for mouthwash. It’s usually at the end of the buffet, and I often skip everything else and just go to the strawberry soup station (since I’m talking and taking photos, it’s easy to eat on the run).
Well…last week, our caterer made his famous strawberry soup. And I had *one* teeny tiny container of it.
I decided I needed more than that. So I made a big pot of soup last night (enough to fill a gallon pitcher this morning). And I shared it with our guests, serving it in champagne glasses (since we didn’t have any soup bowls–you don’t serve a lot of soup for breakfast!)
And there was none left over for me!! (Seriously, there were 2 flutes left, and I saved them for guests who asked if they could try the soup later today).
It looks like I’ll be making chilled strawberry soup again next week. (And I’m quadrupling the recipe this time!!)
If you’d like to try to make this at home, here is Chef Dale Hawkins’ recipe, with a couple of tweaks by me.
Sandy’s Summer Chilled Strawberry Soup
2 pt fresh strawberries
1-1/2 teaspoon instant tapioca
1 c orange juice (I use the fresh juice we serve at the inn)
1 Tablespoon lemon juice (I use fresh lemon juice, but go a little light on it so it’s not too tart)
1 dash cinnamon (I’m not sure what a dash is, so I use a pinch between my thumb and forefinger and then “dash” it into the pot, sometimes talking in a french accent)
1 dash allspice (again, a “pinch” “dashed” into the pot)
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup buttermilk
sliced strawberries or limes for presentation
Process strawberries in a blender or food processor until berries are pureed. In a medium saucepan (or larger stock pot if you double or quadruple the recipe), combine pureed strawberries, tapioca, orange juice, lemon juice, cinnamon and allspice.
Bring to a boil, stirring constantly with a whisk. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered over moderate head until mixture is thickened. The time for this varies; it may take one hour. Stir frequently.
Remove the soup from the heat. Add the sugar and stir until it dissolves. Refrigerate the mixture until well chilled. (I cool it overnight).
Add the buttermilk, and mix well with the whisk. Taste, and if it makes your mouth pucker (sometimes those strawberries are tart), I still in a little more buttermilk and a sprinkling of sugar.
Serve soup garnished with lime slices and/or sliced strawberries. Or just pour it into a champagne flute, and toast the start of the day!!
Tell me how it turns out! (Or join us next weekend to try mine!)