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Rose-hip Soup

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Suppe - Suppenlffel

In the same way that many of us in the 1960s were required to take our daily dose of rose-hip syrup, Swedish children were encouraged to eat a bowl of this tasty soup at the weekend. A nation of foragers, Swedes often use ingredients – even in packaged versions of familiar products – which are easy to find in the wild, such as rose-hips, bilberries and lingonberries – the main ingredient of the popular condiment sold here in IKEA stores to accompany traditional Swedish meatballs.

Rose-hips are incredibly healthy, with a single fruit containing as much vitamin C as an orange. In fact, 100 grams provides over 700 per cent of the daily requirement of vitamin C, and over 80 per cent of the daily vitamin A requirement. They’re a renowned antioxidant too, and are highly regarded as an anti-inflammatory, which has raised hopes for using this readily available resource as a relief for anyone suffering from arthritis.

Rose-hip soup is a versatile dish, and is regarded as a soup, a dessert and a drink. As a dessert it is often eaten with almond biscuits, and as a soup can be enjoyed with yogurt and an occasional crispbread broken up and added to the bowl. However you choose to eat it you will certainly enjoy the unusual sweet taste. It can even be bought as a powdered cuppa soup in Sweden, although this is really not the best way to try it!

INGREDIENTS

600g fresh rose-hips – the bigger the better

2 litres water

100g caster sugar

1 tbsp cornflour

 METHOD

1     Halve each rose-hip and scoop out all the seeds and any hairs ‒ you only need to retain the skins. This is the tedious part, and the longest part of the preparation process. It is slightly easier if you collect only larger rose-hips!

2     Put the skins in a pan together with the water and bring to the boil. Leave to simmer for 30 minutes until the skins soften up.

3     Turn up the heat to a rolling boil for 15 minutes to reduce the liquid.

4     Process the liquid in a food processor then strain through muslin or a very fine sieve and return to the pan together with the sugar on a low heat, stirring continuously until all the sugar has dissolved.

5     Stir up the cornflour with a little of the liquid to form a light paste and add it slowly to the pan, stirring all the time, then simmer for a further 10 minutes until the soup thickens.

6     Rose-hip soup can be served either warm or cold, garnished with small almond biscuits as a dessert, and crème fraiche or yogurt if you are enjoying it as a soup.

About the Author:

Paul Melnyczuk is editor of Home Farmer, and together with Ruth Tott is the founder of the company. His Ukrainian father and Austrian mother came over in the 1950s, and he was raised near Accrington (of Stanley fame) in Lancashire. With a degree in European Literature and a year spent living in Sweden, and a further 2 years in the Sudan, his background is rich and varied.

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