Combine fresh, locally grown berries with herbs and citrus for a great summer soup. From “Homegrown Pure & Simple” by Michel Nischan.
- 1 cup local honey
- 1 cup fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons grated lemon zest
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 4 to 5 teaspoons seeded, finely minced jalapeno or other fresh chili
- 1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh lemon verbena stems
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 6 pints favorite garden berry in season (such as strawberries, raspberries or blueberries)
- 1/4 cup loosely packed, sliced fresh lemon verbena leaves
Combine the honey, lemon juice, lemon zest, cinnamon stick, 4 teaspoons chili, and verbena stems in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 5 minutes, or until the flavors are well developed. If you like a little more zip, add more minced chili. Season with the salt, remove from the heat, and let cool for 10 minutes.
Put the berries in a food processor. Pour the honey mixture through a fine-mesh sieve held over the berries and then process until smooth. Adjust the seasoning with salt and lemon juice.
Rinse the sieve, and then strain the soup through the sieve into a glass bowl. Skim any foam that rises to the surface. Stir in the sliced verbena leaves, cover, and chill for about 1 hour before serving.
Taste and adjust the seasoning before serving in chilled bowls. Serves 12.
Per serving: 135 calories; 0.5 g fat (0 g saturated fat; 3 percent calories from fat); 35 g carbohydrates; 0 mg cholesterol; 100 mg sodium; 1 g protein; 3.5 g fiber.