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Anthony O'SHAUGHNESSY

Badass Geordie cook eating his way around the world. 

Chilled Strawberry Soup (Salmorejo de Fresas)

Chilled Strawberry Soup (Salmorejo de Fresas)

When I visited Andalucia in April I tried this gorgeous dish in Córdoba called 'Samorejo'. It is very similar to gazpacho - Spanish chilled tomato soup - but has stale bread added to it. The stale bread thickens the soup and makes it incredibly smooth and creamy. I ate it a few times when I was in Spain because it was such a satisfying cool-down for supper when I was sweating my balls off and couldn't figure out how to work out the AC controls!

Out of that gorgeous dish, or concept I guess, I created a dessert version of it. Instead of the usual tomatoes, I used fresh British strawberries. Strawberries are tasting fab in the UK at the moment - I urge you to make the most of them because this opportunity doesn't stay long. British strawberries are only at optimum dazzle for about 2/3 at the beginning of June. Before or after, they're pretty crap and taste like absolutely nothing. Frankly, I wouldn't bother my arse making this dish with strawberries any other time of year, but if you just so happen to come across this recipe at the wrong time of year, I'm sure plenty of other berries could work. Let me know if you have any luck!

This dessert would be an excellent round-off to a warmly-spiced dinner. It's the sort of dessert you could have if you were lucky enough to be taking your dinner outside on a warm night. Naturally, it's great to make ahead and kept stored in the fridge. It's a wonderful light breakfast, kind of like a rich smoothie bowl. My favourite time to have it is on a stuffy, hot night with a cold, sliced green apple from the fridge.

SALMOREJO DE FRESAS

  • 800g-1kg prime strawberries
  • 4/5 slices of white bread or 1 foot-long baguette
  • 500ml whole-fat milk or water
  • 2/3 tablespoons sugar to taste
  • 3/4 sprigs of plucked, fresh mint
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2/3 tablespoon sherry dulce/P.X. (optional)
  1. Pluck the leafy heads from the strawberries and place into a blender or food processor. Blend until you reach a smooth puree.
  2. Briefly soak 4/5 slices of bread or torn foot-long baguette in a dish of 500ml milk or water, gently wringing out excess. Place the soggy bread into the blender/processor with the strawberries and blend until thick and creamy. Add more bread if necessary until you have the consistency of yoghurt.
  3. Add the plucked leaves of 3/4 sprigs of fresh mint and add to the blender/processor. Add the sugar and black pepper and blend to mix. Add more sugar or pepper to taste. Also add some sweet sherry or vinegar to enhance if you prefer.
If using strawberries out of season, enhance the flavour by adding a tablespoon of sherry vinegar or balsamic vinegar to the soup. Serve the soup chilled with a dollop of vanilla mascarpone in the centre to. Take a standard 250g tub of mascarpone cheese and mix with a teaspoon of caster sugar and a teaspoon of vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste (the bean paste adds a pretty astral fleck of vanilla seeds!)
— ANTHONY'S SHOCK TIP
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