Make this soup over the next few months when local berries are ripening and at their peak. Texas is, of course, a grower of blueberries, as well as blackberries and strawberries. Icy and cool, this soup would be good with a robust slice of cheese and crackers for a first course or light lunch, or as a dessert.
Summer Berry Soup
1/2 cup of minute tapioca (or sago)
8 ounces ripe strawberries
8 ounces mulberries, dewberries or blackberries
8 ounces blueberries
4 tablespoons sugar, or to taste
4 cups apple juice
Crushed or cubed ice
Bring at least 6 cups water to boil in a pan and sprinkle in the tapioca. Boil, uncovered, for 7 minutes, then cover the pan and turn off the heat. Let stand at least for 10 minutes. By this time all the grains should be perfectly clear. Use the small tapioca with grains about the size of the head of a pin, not the large pearls.) Run cold water into the pan, drain through a fine sieve and leave to cool.
Wash the berries and drain. Hull the strawberries and, if you are using mulberries, snap the stems. Set aside some perfect berries of each variety and for garnishing and puree the rest with the sugar. Stir in the apple juice, then add 1 cup of the cooked tapioca. Cover and chill for an hour or longer. Ladle into soup dishes and serve on a bed of ice, if desired, with a few berries garnishing on top.
Makes 8 servings.
From “The Complete Vegetarian Cookbook” by Charmaine Soloman.