Desserts and sweet treats have always been an important part of the Icelandic diet. In Granny’s time desserts or something sweet was served at least once or twice a day, even as a main meal, and often included milk based soups, compotes and sweet fruit soups . . . like the blueberry soup seen in photos below that I took in Athens, Greece (the first one from my roof with the Acropolis seen far away in the background)!
When served as a main meal, the soups were normally topped with bread rusks, zwieback or choux pastry balls and enriched with a generous splash of cream, straight from the pitcher. Mom however, with her conscious cooking food philosophy, always thought the cream was too much of a good thing and normally substituted it with a dollop of protein rich Skyr (Icelandic fresh cheese that resembles thick and creamy strained yoghurt) and fresh berries, when available. To see what I love . . . . check out the tips following the recipe!
FYI . . . In Iceland two types of bilberries, that we know as blueberries, grow wild all over the country and are picked by the locals of all ages in late summer. Actually the two berries possess very similar health-promoting antioxidant compounds, vitamins and minerals. The wild ones are a bit smaller and darker but their taste is quite similar. Just keep in mind that the cultivated ones from the USA or South America have a milder flavor and are less tangy. Thus, depending on your berries you may need to adapt the sugar content to satisfy your taste buds to your heart’s content!
Granny's Blueberry Soup Recipe
200g fresh or frozen bilberries or blueberries (about 2 cups)
1 liter of water
50 g of sugar (about 1/4 cup), or to taste
Pinch of salt
1 tblsp cornstarch mixed with 2 tblsp water
Rinse berries well. Drain and place into a pot or saucepan. Pour cold water over berries and bring slowly to boil. Once boiling point has been reached, lower heat and simmer gently for about 10 minutes or until berries are soft and disintegrating.
Take off heat and strain liquid through a fine sieve; placing liquid into another pot. Stir in the sugar and salt and simmer at low heat for another 5 minutes. Taste the soup and if needed, add a bit more sugar, to taste.
Remove pot from heat and stir in the cornstarch mixture. Place pot back on heat and bring soup to boil and cook until it thickens a bit, stirring constantly.
Serve warm topped with fresh berries and if you like, a dollop of whipped cream or thick creamy Greek style yoghurt.
For those of you who like cinnamon try adding a cinnamon stick to the soup with the sugar. Just don't forget to remove it before you add the cornstarch mixture.
Depending on the country you live in, fresh blueberries can be quite expensive. Thus, where available, try using frozen blueberries as they are normally much more economical!
I love this soup any time of the day and I often have it as a main course with barley rusk. For breakfast I like it served cold or at room temperature with a dash of fresh lemon juice topped with a dollop of low fat Greek yoghurt, granola and toasted almonds.
As a sweet snack, I enjoy it (warm or cold) in a mug topped with mini marshmallows. YUM!
©KaritasM – June 2021