"The only real stumbling block is the fear of failure. In cooking, you have got to have a what-the-hell attitude." ~ Julia Child

Blueberry-Thyme Soup with Honey Vanilla Mascarpone: It’s what’s for dinner

by Julie on January 22, 2014

in Soup is Easy, Soups, Sweet!

Hard to believe I’ve been swapping soup with friends and family in these parts since 2007. This year we had our second such soup swap at our friendly neighborhood wine bar.

All the big cookers were there. But one soup stood out. That was Jamie’s blueberry-thyme soup with honey-vanilla mascarpone.

blueberry soup

It even sounds like food porn.

It was by far the most unusual, creative soup at the swap. Not surprising if you know Jamie (and I’ve known her since junior high.) She riffed on this excellent recipe from the Shared Appetite blog.

Desert soup? Yes. And it was delicious – not too cloying, but with fabulously complementary flavors and delicious options for plating.

Just don’t drop any on your white shirt.

Here’s how she did it.

For the Soup:

•    6 cups (about 3 pints) fresh blueberries (Jamie tripled this recipe, and found no downside to using some frozen blueberries as well. )
•    2 cups water
•    3/4 cup sugar
•    1 lemon, zested
•    1 tablespoon fresh thyme, finely chopped
•    Pinch of Kosher Salt

For the honey-vanilla mascarpone:

•    8 ounces mascarpone cheese
•    1 tablespoon honey
•    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
•    1/2 – 1 lemon, juiced
For the Garnish:
•    Fresh blueberries –
•    Crushed graham crackers or crushed shortbread cookies , optional (but worth it)

In a medium pot, add the blueberries (reserving a handful for garnish) water, sugar, zest of one lemon, fresh thyme, and a dash of salt. Stir to combine.

Bring the pot to a boil over medium heat then lower to a gentle simmer, stirring occasionally. Cook until the blueberries start to break down and the mixture thickens slightly, approximately 20-30 minutes,
Allow blueberry mixture to cool, then transfer to a blender or use your immersion blender. Puree until smooth.

Place a fine-mesh sieve over a bowl – but not too fine! Jamie found that she over-did in here and reduced the thyme flavor and viscosity. Working in batches, if necessary, transfer the blueberry mixture from the blender to the sieve. Use a spatula or spoon to push the mixture through.

There will be solids left over. Jamie used hers for a nice vinaigrette base. Clever!

Chill the soup until ready to serve (up to a day ahead of time).

Before serving, make the honey vanilla mascarpone. Combine the mascarpone cheese, honey, vanilla extract, and the juice from 1/2 lemon. Stir to combine and taste. If you like it more lemony, use the other half of the lemon. Duh.

Serve in decorative little bowls or ramekins — a dollop of mascarpone in the middle. Crumble Lorna Doon shortbread cookies over the top.

You’ll impress yourself, trust me.

 

(Photo lifted directly from Chris’ fine blog, Shared Appetite.)

 

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Chris @ Shared Appetite January 22, 2014 at 1:36 pm

It’s great to hear that the soup was well enjoyed! Thanks so much for the shout-out 🙂

Reply

Julie January 22, 2014 at 2:04 pm

It was the belle of the ball! (Or maybe the Blue of the ball?) Thanks for the awesome recipe, Chris!

Reply

Jamie January 22, 2014 at 4:10 pm

Thanks for making me look good Chris! I only wish I had kept some for myself.

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Bruce March 4, 2014 at 7:49 am

I made this. It was absolutely amazing. I am in your debt, Tilsner!

Reply

Susan March 22, 2014 at 1:02 am

I’m a newbie…can’t wait to whip this one up!!
But what IS it? A 1st course soup or a last course dessert??

Reply

Julie March 22, 2014 at 10:31 am

That’s a great question…let’s call it a first course soup because we’re grownups and as such we’re allowed to eat dessert first these days…;-)

Reply

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