Growing up in a half-truly Swedish family, I have a LOT of food memories involving fruit soups. In Sweden, you can buy cartons of berry and fruit soups, which I always ate with a good pour-over of cream or milk that hugged the thick edges of the thickened, slightly sweet mixture. But my favorite, and the hardest to find here (the powdered versions you can sometimes find at IKEA or other Scandinavian stores just isn’t the same), is nyponsoppa, or rosehip soup.
Rosehips are a magical food in the North: rich in vitamin C, which is important in a climate that can’t support the cultivation of citrus, they are also a source of vitamins A, D, B, E and K, iron, calcium and other nutrients (source). They have a tangy, fruity flavor, and the traditional nyponsoppa usually consists of rosehips, sugar, lemon or citrus, and a thickener like corn- or potatostarch. You can drink it, or eat it with a spoon, and it is often served with milk/cream or yogurt.
I wouldn’t know where to get fresh rosehips around here, but luckily dried rosehips abound at my local natural food stores. I think that one could easily blend the steeped rosehips along with the tea they produce, but for this go I opted to strain them out. I also wanted to play around with the flavor, and do an uncooked version. Strawberries have been on sale at the coop and I thought they would go together really well (they did!). I also used dates to sweeten the soup, and ground chia to both thicken and add a bit of protein.
The result is a slightly sweet, strawberry-kissed and citrusy soup that is thinner than a smoothie but thicker than juice. I think some cashew sour cream would have been amazing with this, but you and I will have to wait on my upcoming rejuvelac post to make that happen. I had a bit of coconut milk that I added, and that was pretty nice. Hope you’re inspired to try this little spin on a Swedish classic.
makes about 2 1/2 cups
1/2 cup dried rosehips
2 cups boiling water
3 dates, pitted
juice of 1/2 lemon
3-4 tablespoons ground chia seeds
1/2 cup fresh strawberries, hulled.
Cover the rosehips with boiling water and steep for 15 minutes. Strain, pressing as much liquid out of the rosehips as possible, and cool slightly. Alternatively you can use the liquid and rosehips together for a stronger flavor. Combine all the ingredients in a blender and mix until smooth. Let sit a while for the chia to absorb some of the liquid (it won’t change dramatically, but it should thicken slightly). Serve warm or chilled with a dollop of cashew sour cream or a swirl of non-dairy milk.