Friday, April 2, 2010

Chilled Strawberry Soup with Balsamic Grilled Strawberries

Now that spring has sprung, gorgeous, delicious, fresh and CHEAP strawberries are plentiful. Here's an easy way to make good use of them. Super easy to put together, this chilled soup makes for a great brunch item, or a dessert, or a nice starter to a long meal. This makes a good amount, so unless you have guests halve the recipe.

4 pints Strawberries, trimmed of their stems
1 cup Vanilla Yogurt
1 bunch Mint
Splash Balsamic vinegar
2-3 Tbsp Agave Nectar or Honey, to taste
1 tsp Cinnamon
Apple Juice as needed

Pour 1/2 cup of good balsamic vinegar into a small sauce pan and cook over medium-high heat until reduced into a syrup. Remove from heat, season with cinnamon and set aside.

Slice 1 pint of strawberries in half and cook on a hot, buttered griddle or pan just until cut side is carmelized, about 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat and cut into a large dice. Chiffonade (thinly slice) a few mint leaves and add to the cut strawberries. Pour balsamic syrup over strawberries, stir and set aside.
In a blender combine 1 1/2 pints of strawberries, yogurt, mint and agave nectar until smooth (will probably have to do in 2 batches). If it's too thick, thin with a little apple juice. Pass the cold soup through a strainer to catch any lumps.
To serve, ladle the cool soup into bowls, and top with the balsamic strawberry mixture. Garnish with a mint leaf and serve immediately.

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