Recipe by Liz Alpern and Jeffrey Yoskowitz
Photo by Lauren Volo
There’s an intriguing tradition of fruit-based soups in Ashkenazi cooking, much as there is in Scandinavian cuisine. Growing up, I was familiar with sour cherry soup, but I hadn’t heard of blueberry soup until I began reviewing old Jewish cookbooks. I’m glad I found it.
Many old recipes call for straining out the blueberries, but Liz and I prefer the texture that the stewed fruit adds to the soup. This recipe is a great way to highlight the berry harvest in early summer or a delicious way to utilize frozen berries when the weather turns cold. Also, it is a very quick recipe. You can serve it hot right after it’s finished cooking, but the flavor develops nicely after a day. Once cooled, you can refrigerate the soup and serve it cold (our preference) or at room temperature. —Jeffrey Yoskowitz
Serves 4 to 6
2 cinnamon sticks
2 teaspoons whole cloves
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
2 teaspoons whole black peppercorns
6 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
¼ cup honey
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
1 cup cold water
2 egg yolks, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons lemon zest, plus more for garnish
Sour cream or plain yogurt, for serving
Tie the cinnamon sticks, cloves, coriander seeds, and peppercorns in a square of cheesecloth for easy removal later.
In a medium saucepan, combine the blueberries, honey, lemon juice, spice bundle, and cold water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to maintain a simmer and cook for about 8 minutes. The berries will break down quite quickly and release a good deal of liquid.
Remove the pot from the heat. Very slowly spoon 3 tablespoons of the hot blueberry liquid into the egg yolks (1 tablespoon at a time to avoid curdling the egg yolks). Whisk with a fork until thick, 1 to 2 minutes, then return the blueberry-egg mixture to the pot and return the soup just to a boil. Immediately reduce the heat to maintain a simmer and cook for 3 minutes more, until the soup has thickened. Remove from the heat, and immediately mix in the 2 teaspoons of lemon zest.
Remove the spice bundle before serving hot, cold, or at room temperature, garnished with sour cream and remaining lemon zest.
Liz Alpern is the cofounder, with Jeffrey Yoskowitz, of The Gefilteria, a New York–based dining event project that showcases and celebrates Jewish foods from the Ashkenazi culinary tradition, as well as coauthor of The Gefilte Manifesto. She's also the founder of Queer Soup Night, which we featured in "Queer Supper Clubs Save the Day" in Issue 5.She was featured in Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list for food and wine and was named one of the Forward 50 for 2016.
Excerpted from The Gefilte Manifesto by Liz Alpern and Jeffrey Yoskowitz, (Flatiron Books). Copyright © 2016 by The Gefilte Manifesto, LLC.
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