Summer, unfortunately, is coming to a close. And while soup isn’t something many people associate with this time of year, there are many wonderful cold soup recipes that can be very refreshing and do not even require any cooking.
When you talk about cold soups, most people think gazpacho – which is a good soup, but this recipe is one you can use to take advantage of the fresh strawberries still available.
This recipe is modified from one I found on the New York Times website. It’s not that I went into it thinking I could do it better, I was just looking to make a smaller batch and was going from memory because I couldn’t find the link to the original recipe at the time.
I think it turned out rather nicely, I was able to reduce the sugar quite a bit, and I think it turned out great. As a bonus, I think it is just another example of how being flexible in the kitchen can really pay off.
A light, refreshing, soup with the taste of summer. Perfect as a side dish or maybe an after dinner treat.
In a small bowl, mix the yogurt and orange juice. Either coarsely chop or using a mortar and pestle, muddle the mint leaves and stir into the yogurt mixture. Put in fridge to chill.
Put the diced strawberries in another small bowl, add the lime juice and sprinkle over the sugar. The sugar will help draw out some of the moisture and soften them up a bit. Put in fridge to chill.
Let both bowls chill for 1-2 hours, giving them both a stir once or twice. Strain the yogurt mixture to remove the mint leaves, then mix in with the strawberry mixture. Stir in the cayenne pepper. If mixture is too think, stir in additional orange juice to desired thickness.
Garnish with fresh strawberries and/or mint leaves before serving.
For the yogurt, it's best to start with a fairly thick yogurt. It can always be thinned out with additional juice if it's too thick.
Don't chop the mint too finely, it will make it harder to remove. I've tried muddling the leaves (crushing them) to release the oils, basically leaving the leaves intact, and they seemed to be easier to strain out.
"Cayenne pepper?" Yes. The original recipe called for chili powder. I didn't have any on hand when I first made this, so I tried the cayenne pepper, and it adds just a little bite that just worked really well. The coolness of the yogurt kept it from being a hot sort of spicy.
This would make a fine side to a light, savory dish such as chicken or fish, or add a dollop of whipped cream and serve it as a refreshing dessert.