Once on a hot summer's day, I was searching the streets of Budapest, Hungry, for an apartment where a Christian contact was awaiting our arrival. We called the telephone number that we had been given, but no one answered. Our standing instructions, as young missionaries working in a Communist country behind the iron curtain, were to find a local cafe and wait one hour until calling again. (Sometimes if the secret police were near by, and a family was expecting us, the hosts would not answer the phone in order to warn us to stay away.)
And so, my friend and I found a tiny, smoky cafe and entered to see if we could find something delicious to eat while we were waiting. We made our way to a tiny, round table in the corner with a lovely woven traditional flowered table cloth, fresh carnations in a red clay vase and soft music wafting in the background. Seems we had found a jewel of a place.
Our waitress immediately knew we were Americans and talked to us in broken English. We asked her if they had a speciality. Her reply was, "Have you had our cold raspberry soup?"
I had never heard of any kind of berry soup, but we couldn't speak a word of Hungarian and as berries were in season, we took a chance.
Heaven couldn't have produced better fare for us that day! Light, sweet with a touch of sour, whip cream and berries--all cold and smooth.
For 20 years, I have a Christmas tea/luncheon for friends of mine and friends of my girls. We almost always serve raspberry soup as a first course. It has become Sarah's specialty. Today I had my friends over for our traditional luncheon because both girls, Sarah and Joy, were back in town.
Every Christmas when I have friends over for lunch, we always have cold raspberry soup as the starter--red for Christmas and special for a unique tradition--a favorite taste of our family and a celebration whenever we eat it. Pics from yesterday!
(YOU CAN READ ABOUT IT HERE, WHERE ONE OF JOY'S FRIENDS WROTE ABOUT OUR TEA!)
BFF's for many years!
Home from college--Joy and Christie!
Sarah-Raspberry soup expert!
So here is my recipe:
Chilled Raspberry Soup
- 2 bags frozen raspberries-- around 18-20 ounces. I thaw them the day before I make the soup in my fridge.
- 1-1/2 cups water
- 1/4 cup white zinfandel or sweeter wine (if desired--not necessary) Do not use a very sour cooking wine.
- 1 cup cranberry apple juice or cranberry -raspberry juice
- 1/2 -1 cup of sugar (to taste)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/4 t. ground cloves
- 1 -2 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 (8 ounce) container raspberry yogurt (I use the Greek yoghurt)
- whipped cream or sour cream--depending on preference
- In a blender, puree raspberries, water and wine if desired. (Taste to see if it is the right consistency for you--some like it thick, some like it thinner--juice or water will thin it.) Transfer to a large saucepan; add the cran-raspberry juice, sugar, cinnamon and cloves. (I have had sweet raspberries and some that were sour. If they are sour, they will need a little bit more sugar. Be sure it blends in.)
- Bring just to a boil over medium heat.
- Remove from the heat; strain if you want it totally smooth, and allow to cool. (I grind my raspberries so much in the blender that you cannot notice the seeds, but sometimes cooks strain the seeds out to make it totally smooth.) Whisk in lemon juice and yogurt. Refrigerate long enough to cool. To serve, pour into small bowls and top with a dollop of whip or sour cream.
A few notes on this soup ...
**It's best served cold, so allow at least two hours in the fridge to cool off--or over night as it is so lovely when chilled.
**I'm not quire sure how many servings, as it depends upon how much goes into each bowl! You can see that sometimes I serve it in these little fruit cups so when I do it this way, it goes a long way. (I got 12 of these cut glass sherbet bowls at Good Will--our second hand store!) Just figure out about how many ounces everything adds up to and divide it by the size of bowl you want to serve it in. (In other words, if you do one batch and it is 32 oz of raspberries, 3-4 cups liquid (another 32 ounces) then you have ten 6-ounce servings (which would be large) or more if you do smaller bowls.
Enjoy and use as a tradition--it is a surprise whenever I serve it to people who have never heard of it and it is delicious and nutritious!