Sunday, June 17, 2007

Strawberry Lemongrass Prosecco Soup for your summer brunch

Since strawberries are almost ripe for the picking- it's time to enhance your berry repertoire. Perfect for a wedding shower or summer brunch this cold, thick soup is easy to make and delightful to sip. Rob Caldwell made it easily on 207 last week. Everyone in the news room thought it was elegant and summer-y. If you go strawberry picking, use up any bruised berries in this recipe. The soup is macerated so save the pretty berries for garnish. Note the beautiful bowl from Sheepscot Pottery. John and Karen Oakey make bowls of many sizes and patterns. This one is large enough to be a fountain- and serves enough soup for dozens of happy mouths.

Strawberry Lemongrass Prosecco Soup
This slightly sweet dessert soup is perfect for a wedding brunch or shower. Anytime you’ve got fresh berries available is the right time for a light, delicious soup. Prosecco is a sparkling Italian wine that is readily available. If you can’t find it, you can substitute champagne.
Serves 8 to 12
2 c water
1 3-oz pouch liquid pectin (Certo or your favorite brand)
1⁄2 c sugar
1 stalk lemongrass, chopped or grated
6 c strawberries, quartered
2 lemons, juice and zest
4 c prosecco

6 strawberries
1 carambola (star fruit) or 1 lemon, seeded and thinly sliced
zest from 1 lemon, finely chopped

Combine the water, pectin, sugar, and lemongrass in a medium saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the sugar dissolves. Increase the heat and bring the mixture to a boil. Remove from heat.
Place the strawberries in a blender or food processor. Purée the strawberries. Add the grated lemon zest and juice and puree again. Place the purée in a large bowl. Set a fine mesh strainer over the bowl and pour the hot lemongrass liquid through it. Adjust sweetness, if necessary.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and refrigerate 6 hours or overnight. When you’re ready to serve, add the prosecco to the bowl and gently stir to combine. Serve garnished with strawberries, thin slices of star fruit, and a sprinkle of lemon zest.

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