Strawberry Jalapeño Champagne Soup
During the dog days of summer, nothing beats a chilled, light, bright seasonal fruit soup. Local strawberries have a fleeting, short season, but are one of the most soul satisfying when eating at their sun kissed peak straight from the farmer's field or backyard garden, and onto the spoon. Inspired by the Scandinavian fruit soup traditions, but relying on native North American garden strawberries and a hint of spicy pepper heat, this soup avoids the cloying sweetness of many fruit based dishes. The hint of jalapeño is just enough of a reminder that the intense heat outside may be tamed--if only for a few moments while sipping this scarlet red refreshing strawberry shooter.
The amount of jalapeño should be adjusted to taste--some jalapeños are extremely mild and others mouth burning spicy. A mild flavored honey allows the pure strawberry flavor to shine.
2 pounds local strawberries, hulled and halved
1 small lime, zested
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
2 teaspoons jalapeño, finely minced
1 tablespoon mild flavored honey such as clover or acia (add more to balance taste as needed)
1 teaspoon rose water
1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1 cup champagne
1. Place the strawberries in a food process fitted with the steel blade and pulse to a coarse puree.
2. Add the lime juice, orange juice, honey, and jalapeño. Stir with a wooden spoon to incorporate.
3. Taste, adding more honey and jalapeño, for desired sweet & spicy balance.
4. Just before serving, stir in the champagne. Divide among small bowls or SHOT GLASSES, and serve immediately.