Sunday, May 20, 2012

Strawberry Almond Soup

It's here! Strawberry season is upon us. The official start to the season doesn't usually begin until Memorial Day weekend, but with all the warm, dry weather we've been having on Long Island, the strawberries are off to an early start. I haven't been to any of the U-Pick farms out east yet, but I have stocked up on the organic strawberries that have been on sale in the grocery stores. Among the few strawberry concoctions I've created so far, this strawberry soup I adapted from this recipe takes the cake. It was so easy, and unbelievably delicious. With the summer heat making it's appearance, I'm sure  I'll be making plenty more "stove free" soups like this.

Logan couldn't get enough of it. I filled his bowl four times, can you tell?

Strawberry Almond Soup
Serves 2 as a main dish, or 4 as a side

  • 2 Tbsp. raw sunflower seeds
  • 1 1/2 lbs. (about 5 cups) of strawberries, tops removed
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 2 Tbsp. pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp. almond extract

  1. Blend the sunflower seeds in a blender until a paste begins to form.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend until smooth.
  3. Chill in the fridge for about an hour before serving.

No leftovers!

This recipe inspired me to make my own extracts. Extracts can be used to enhance the flavors of baked goods, soups, smoothies, stir fries. You name it. I've already made vanilla extract, so I thought, why not almond, and mint while I'm at it. The pretty containers I salvaged from my mom's collection are overflowing with mint. I need something to do with it! Plus, it would taste really good with the vegan chocolate bars I'm working on perfecting. More on that later!

My containers with lavender, spearmint, and chocolate mint

I won't be able to give you a review of my extracts until they're ready in a few weeks, but if you want to experiment with me, here's how..

Almond Extract
Chopped almonds
  • 1 cup of raw almonds
  • 2 cups of vodka
  1. Toast the almonds in a 400ยบ oven for 10 minutes. (Toasted almonds are delicious btw, eat them as is, or garnish your strawberry soup with them).
  2. Pulse the almonds in a blender or food processor in short bursts. The goal is to just get them chopped, so don't blend them into a paste.
  3. Add the chopped almonds to a glass jar, along with the vodka.
  4. Keep in a cabinet for 6 weeks, shaking daily. 
  5. Strain the solids with a cheesecloth, and you've made almond extract! (Hopefully)

Mint Extract
  • 1 cup of loosely packed mint
  • 3/4 cup of vodka
  • 1/2 cup of water
  1. Mix everything in a glass jar.
  2. Keep in a cabinet for 3 weeks, shaking daily.
  3. Strain the solids with a cheesecloth, and enjoy your mint extract!

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