Monday, January 9, 2012

Strawberry Soup with Caramel-Cinnamon croutons/Dessert for soup and vice versa.

It feels good to be able to look into an empty New Post page; Pensieve out those food thoughts that have been locked in for far too long.

Trust me when I say I'm not slacking off on posting. Craving the smell of cinnamon-and-apple baking in the oven is what I'm doing. Unfortunately, my boring-tiresome-annoying-masochistic-but pretty freaking awesome-sporadically dayjob gets in the way.

While  any form of food-catharsis should obviously take the shape of a chocolate-orange ganache tart, what with the New Year hullaballo (I said hullaballo, and we're all still alive), I'm going down the Greek yogurt route. OK, "New Year! New Fitness Plan!" isn't the only factor... I only had minimal time and ingredients to prep and photograph. And as a result of a happy accident, what started as a Strawberry-and-yogurt breakfast bowl ended up as a Strawberry-soup dessert.

You can obviously make this richer with fresh cream, mascarpone, half-and-half or sour cream. You can also just macerate the strawberries with a squeeze of lemon juice and a few teaspoons of sugar. I prefer the fruit to be the overall star, so I use a combination of fresh strawberries and roasted strawberries.

Ooh. The croutons. I used to be a massive fan of the butter-fried croutons Mum used to strew on our Sunday breakfast-tomato soup, growing up. I used to inhale the left over buttery crumbs, lick the fresh cream off the bowl clean... it was a happier time.

These croutons smell like caramel popcorn. Nah, I'm happier now. Saying something smells like caramel corn is the equivalent of a food-OBE around these parts. Make it! And use real butter, for the love of God.

Strawberry Soup with Cinnamon-buttery croutons:


Strawberries- 2 cups, hulled and halved.
Sugar, white granulated-2 tablespoons
Balsamic vinegar-1 tablespoon*
Yogurt-1 cup **
Milk-1 cup.
Vanilla extract -1 teaspoon.

For the croutons:

Baguette-1/2 a loaf.
Butter-2 tablespoons.
Cinnamon-1 teaspoon.
Demerara/brown/raw sugar-3 tablespoons.

*can substitute lemon/lime juice
**greek/strained yogurt works best.


For the croutons.

Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Line a baking tray with greased foil.

Chop the baguette into 1-inch cubes. Day-old baguette will work in this recipe.
Keep aside.

In a microwave-safe bowl, combine the butter, cinnamon and sugar. Microwave for 30 seconds or more, until the sugar blends in.

Toss the cubed bread into the butter. Spread the cubes evenly over the foil. Bake until nice and golden brown.

Let the croutons cool completely (they'll be crispy at the end of it). Store in an airtight container and keep aside. After trying one. Or ten.

For the soup:

Keep one cup of strawberries aside.

In a bowl, combine the remaining cup of strawberries, sugar and balsamic vinegar. Keep aside for 10 minutes.

Spread the marinated strawberries on the previously used foil sheet. Bake at 150 degrees Celsius for about 35-40 minutes, until you get a jammy syrup. Let it cool down until lukewarm.

In a mixie/food processor, combine the roasted strawberries, fresh strawberries and blend. Next, add in milk, yogurt and the vanilla extract. Blend until smooth. Taste, add more sugar or honey if your palate needs it.

P-wonder chef wanted her "sparkling" kitchen displayed on the blog!
Pour it out into the bowls you're going to be serving the soup in. Cover and refrigerate until chilled.

Just before serving, top the soup with the croutons, some raw sugar and a swirl of yogurt/fresh cream. Serve immediately.

Another variation:

Scoop the roasted strawberries onto some yogurt. Swirl in some honey, top with croutons.

Soup for dessert/Dessert for soup seems like the best (albeit craziest) idea I've had all day week. Next post will have obviously have chocolate in it. Let's not get too crazy.


  1. Oh mann! If I ever come back to chennai it will be just for YOUR cooking rabia. I hope you know what you are doing to me.

  2. Sarbee, do come. I'm in dire need of people who believe it's perfectly OK to eat something with half a kilogram of butter in it.

  3. HAHAH mean but I believe in the good living. Going to look fat anyway, might as well load up on good food. Plus life is much better with butter.