I first saw chilled fruit “consommé,” or clear soup, in New York. At the time I recall thinking, “Wow, this is elegant!” And it’s a great way to use overripe berries. In fact, when I want to make a big batch of this soup, I go to the farmers’ market and ask them for overripe and bruised berries. Farmers are happy to unload them at a discounted price, and I always walk away with a smirk on my face. I add a little bit of Lillet Rosé—why not? Sweet summer berries are so flirtatious on their own, and the Lillet gives the soup another hint of feminine elegance.
- Yield: 1 CUPS (360 ML)
- 1 tbsp (12 g) 1 vanilla bean or vanilla bean paste
- 4 cups (1 kg) very ripe or thawed frozen strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, or blackberries
- ¾ cup (150 g) granulated sugar
- 0.33 cup (75 g) Lillet Rosé aperitif
- Split the vanilla bean in half lengthwise with a paring knife and then use the knife to scrape the seeds from the pod. Place the berries, sugar, vanilla seeds and pod or vanilla bean paste into a medium glass or stainless-steel mixing bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap; double-wrap it to ensure that the seal will stay tight during cooking.
- Bring a saucepan of water to a low simmer. Place the covered bowl over the simmering water to create a bain-marie. Be sure that the water is not touching the bowl. Cook the fruit mixture for 1 to 1½ hours, or until the berries start to break down and steam pushes up on the plastic wrap. Occasionally check the water in the pan, making sure it doesn’t boil away. Remove the bowl from the heat. Keep the bowl covered and leave it at room temperature until cool, about 1 hour. When cool, place the bowl in the refrigerator to chill for at least 4 hours or up to 1 day.
- After 4 hours, remove the plastic wrap. Line a large fine-mesh strainer with cheesecloth. Set the strainer over a clean, large bowl so that there is a good amount of space between the strainer and the bowl. Put the bowl with the strainer into the sink. Pour the berry mixture into the cheesecloth-lined strainer and let it sit for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Let gravity do its work so that all of the juices flow into the bowl. Do not press or push; you don’t want to force extra seeds or bits of the berries into the bowl. When the juices have drained, discard the fruit left in the cheesecloth. Transfer to an airtight container and chill in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. When ready to serve the soup, mix in the Lillet Rosé to accentuate the floral flavor.