RHUBARB SOUP WITH VANILLA ICE CREAM

Rabarber Suppe med Vanilje Is
RHUBARB SOUP WITH VANILLA ICE CREAM

SERVES 6

FOR THE RHUBARB SOUP
500g (1lb 2oz) rhubarb, cut into 1cm (½ inch) thick slices
160g (5¾oz/¾ cup) raw cane sugar
1 tbsp vanilla sugar
1 vanilla pod (bean), halved lengthways, each half cut into 2 or 3 pieces
1 tbsp lemon juice
800ml (1½ pints/3⅓ cups) water

FOR THE VANILLA ICE CREAM SOUP
200ml (7fl oz/generous ¾ cup) full-fat (whole) milk
100ml (3½fl oz/scant ½ cup) double (heavy) cream
2 egg yolks
160g (5¾oz/¾ cup) raw cane sugar
2 vanilla pods (beans), halved and seeds scraped

FOR THE TOASTED ALMONDS
150g (5½oz/1 cup) whole raw almonds
2 tsp butter

This beautiful pink soup became an all-time favourite dessert the first time I tasted it about 25 years ago. It is so fresh, delicate and light, yet perfumed like a French cologne and satisfying like good chocolate. Once I start, I cannot stop – I just wish the rhubarb season lasted all year.

I realize it’s an investment if you don’t already have one, but an ice cream maker may just be the happiest purchase you ever make – I know that mine has been…

First make the vanilla ice cream.  In a saucepan over a medium heat, heat the milk and cream until just before it reaches boiling point. Take off the heat and allow to cool.

In a large bowl, mix the egg yolks, sugar and vanilla seeds with an electric hand whisk until a very creamy and pale yellow colour. Add the cooled milk mixture slowly, mix well, then pour into your ice cream maker and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

To make the rhubarb soup, place the rhubarb in a large saucepan and add the sugar, vanilla sugar, vanilla pod pieces, lemon juice and 300ml (10fl oz/1¼ cups) of the water. Bring to the boil, then turn down the heat and gently simmer for 15 minutes.

Using a potato masher, mash the rhubarb. Pour in the remaining measured water and simmer for another 25 minutes. Allow to cool a little and then drain through a sieve into a clean bowl, discarding any rhubarb pieces. Put the clear soup into the fridge to cool.

To prepare the almonds, put them into a bowl of boiling water for a few minutes, then drain and remove the skins. Chop roughly. Melt the butter in a saucepan over a low heat, then add the almonds and cook until they go golden. Remove and dry on kitchen towel.

Pour the rhubarb soup into deep soup bowls, add a scoop of vanilla ice cream in the centre and top with the toasted almond flakes.

Cook Yourself happy by Caroline Fleming. Published by Jacqui Small, an imprint of The Quarto Group (£25). Out now. http://amzn.to/2oqFv1e

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