by Kymythy R. Schultze

Question: I’m looking for a chilled soup to serve at a luncheon I’m giving. It’d be great if I could brag to my friends that the soup was healthy too! Any ideas?

 Answer: Yes! You might not guess it, but strawberries make a wonderful chilled soup. Strawberries have been very popular throughout history; Madame Tallien (a figure in Napoleon’s court) used to actually bathe in 22 pounds of the crushed berries! Strawberries have been more than bath gel for some though – for instance, the roots were used as a toothbrush and the juice for cleaning tarter and discoloration from teeth. Native Americans made a tea from the roots for stomach, liver, and menstrual problems; while Europeans sipped the tea for indigestion, kidney problems, and blood cleansing. It’s also been made into poultices for burns and wounds.

Folklore advises to be careful about whom you share a double strawberry with because you’ll be destined to fall in love with that person. Seems like a good soup to share with good friends!

 Strawberry Soup

 4 cups ripe strawberries

1/4 cup peppermint leaves

Dash of ground cloves

Remove stems from the strawberries; place berries, cloves, and all but a few mint leaves in a food processor or blender; and puree. If strawberries aren’t sweet enough, add a small amount of honey. And, if serving to an adult-only crowd, a splash of champagne may be added! Pour into bowls and garnish with mint leaves. Makes about 2 cups.