During the warm summer months, I love gazpacho. I love soups year round, and cold soup in the summer makes perfect sense. I especially love fruit gazpachos, because I feel like the flavors can be so wonderful and unexpected. I’ve been waiting all winter for the arrival of delicious, local, organic fresh fruits and vegetables and I’ve been so happy the past few weeks to be finally able to include berries in everything I make.
Another great thing about the arrival of summer is that I can FINALLY experiment with some of the recipes in all of the recipe books I’ve accumulated over the winter. This recipe is another one from the owner of Crook’s Corner, a delicious restaurant in Chapel Hill. Bill Smith’s Seasoned in the South is a great book with stories, recipes, and a lot of advice. I really appreciate that in a recipe book- anecdotes, suggestions, and good food. That’s probably why I love food blogs so much- I love the big pictures and the step-by-step instructions.
This soup is flavored mostly by the blueberries and red wine, but there are also the subtle flavors of peppercorn and bay leaves. The soup is meant to be served chilled, so there’s a fair amount of preparation involved. Last weekend we had Dan’s sister Megan, her husband John, and their daughter Meredith over for dinner, so I served this along with homemade pesto pizza and an arugula salad (not to mention the honeysuckle sorbet). I really enjoyed the soup, and from what I can tell everyone else did too. It’s not sweet, which I liked. The blueberries flavor is strongly complimented by the wine, and the overall effect is unexpected and delicious.
Source: Seasoned in the South by Bill Smith
2 pints fresh blueberries
3 cups red wine
2 tbsp whole peppercorns
3 bay leaves
1/4 cup heavy cream
The first thing that you’re going to do is blanch the berries in red wine. With the berries you want to have the bay leaves and the peppercorn in the pot. The peppercorn should either be wrapped in cheese cloth, or if you don’t have cheesecloth, in a tea strainer or something similar. Bring the berries and wine to an almost boil, and then remove from heat. Allow to cool completely.
Remove the peppercorn and bay leaves, and pour the wine and berries into a food processor. Blend until smooth. Stir in heavy cream and chill.