My friend Dan introduced Mim and I a few years back, and although we haven’t seen him or his lovely fiancée Claire in several months, they’ve remained good friends. Dan and Claire are getting married in a couple of weeks, so they’ve been on our minds a bit lately.

One of Dan’s eccentricities is his insistence that fruit soup is an untapped culinary resource, and who knows, he might even be right for the most part. But I came across this delicious recipe a couple of years back, and finally got to give it a try this January just past.

Chilled Strawberry Soup

serves 4

(based on a recipe by José Luis Tarín Fernández, from Culina Mundi, Könemann 2006)

  • 750 g strawberries
  • 1 green capsicum
  • 1 red capsicum
  • 1 onion
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 30 g caster sugar
  • 200 mL olive oil
  • 100 mL balsamic vinegar
  1. Hull the strawberries. Rinse and drain them in a strainer, then cut them into quarters.
  2. Cut the capsicums in half. Remove the membranes and seeds, then slice each half in four lengthwise and then into 3 cm lengths. Chop the onion into similar-sized pieces.
  3. Purée the capsicums, onion, garlic and strawberries in a food processor. Add the salt, pepper and caster sugar and blend thoroughly.
  4. Pour the olive oil into the mixture 100 mL at a time and blend until emulsified. (The original recipe suggests straining the soup through a sieve, but it’s still just as good without—and a lot less work.)
  5. Stir in the balsamic vinegar and season to taste.
  6. Chill in the fridge for 20 minutes, then serve.

And that’s it—it doesn’t even need to be cooked. It’s based on a traditional gazpacho Andalúz; however, it replaces the tomatoes with strawberries. Apparently, you can’t really swap the strawberries out for other fruit, but after tasting it, I can’t see why you’d want to—it’s seriously that good.

By the way, Dan, if you’re reading this: the local Services Club has Bulmers for $2.60 a pint. See, there are benefits to living in the country!