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Saturday, June 05, 2010

Chilled Rhubarb Soup

The Altitude Adjustment Section
Keeping with the rhubarb theme, here is an unusual recipe for chilled rhubarb soup, which is served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. A great make-ahead dessert or a nice surprise addition to a Sunday brunch menu.

1 cup crème de cassis
1 cup dry red wine
1/4 cup light brown sugar
2 cloves
1 star anise pod
1 cinnamon stick, halved
One 3-inch strip of lemon zest
1/2 vanilla bean, split
1 1/2 pounds rhubarb, stalks peeled and sliced crosswise 1/2 inch thick
Vanilla ice cream, for serving

In a saucepan, bring the Cassis, wine, brown sugar, cloves, star anise, cinnamon, zest and vanilla bean to a boil over high heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Reduce the heat and discard the flavorings. Stir in the rhubarb and return to a simmer. Cook for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand for 10 minutes. Transfer to a bowl; refrigerate until chilled. Puree mixture in blender. Spoon the soup into bowls. Top each with a scoop of ice cream and serve.