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How to make Swedish blueberry soup: recipe

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How to make Swedish blueberry soup: recipe
A big batch of blåbärssoppa made for one of the Vasaloppet races. Photo: Ulf Palm/TT
08:35 CET+01:00
'Blåbärssoppa' is often served warm in winter or cold in summer. It can also be lovely served in a small cup as a pre-dessert amuse bouche for a special occasion. Food writer John Duxbury shares his favourite recipe.

Blåbärssoppa (bilberry soup) is most famous for being the most popular beverage to serve during Vasaloppet, the world's oldest and longest ski marathon, held the first Sunday of March in Sweden. Then most skiiers carry some blåbärssoppa in a vacuum flask.

Swedes would normally make the soup with bilberries, but in many other countries cultivated blueberries are easier to get hold off.

Summary

Serves: 4

Preparation: 5 minutes

Cooking: 15 minutes

Tips

- If you are serving it hot, try adding some cinnamon sticks to spice it up a bit.

- If you are serving it cold, boil the berries for 3 or 4 minutes and then pour them into a blender before moving on to stage 3 below. This gives a slightly fresher taste with more bits of blueberry in the soup.

Ingredients

350 g (3 cups) blueberries, fresh or defrosted (or use bilberries if you can)

4 tbsp caster (superfine) sugar

700 ml (3 cups) water

1 ½ tbsp potato flour (starch)

(potato flour is available in Swedish supermarkets; in other countries you can often obtain it from health food stores if it is not in your local supermarket)

Optional garnishes

- Mandelbiskvier (small macaroons)

- A little icing sugar (confectioner's sugar), if serving the soup cold

- Extra bilberries or blueberries

Method

1. Pick over the blueberries, removing any stalks and shrivelled berries. Rinse and drain.

2. Place the berries in a saucepan with the sugar and water, but don't forget to save some berries for the garnish. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Simmer steadily for 15 to 30 minutes until the berries are soft and disintegrating.

3. Remove the mixture from the heat. Mix the potato flour (starch) with a little water and then pour it into the blueberry soup in a steady stream. Return to a gentle heat, stirring continuously until thickened slightly.

4. Taste and add more sugar if desired.

5. The hot soup can be poured into a vacuum flask and served warm later.

6. In summer it is normally served cold. In this case sprinkle a little icing sugar (confectioner's sugar) over the top as it helps to prevent a skin forming.

Recipe published courtesy of John Duxbury, founder and editor of Swedish Food.

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