Tuesday, 2 September 2008

German elderberry soup

Polish: bez czarny
Manx: berrish hrammanagh
Persian: آقطی سیاه
Turkish: kara mürver
Bosnian: zohva
Russian: бузина черная
German: Holunder
Basque: intsusa
Italian: sambuco nero
Swedish: fläder

Holunderbeerensuppe / Fliederbeersuppe is a kind of late summer-autumn north German delicacy. Must be made from very ripe elderberries; if the winter is not frosty people enjoy elderberry soup even in the wintertime. As a rule, elderberry juice tastes tart but after some sesoning it becomes deep fruity rich flavour.

(3-4 portions)
1l elderberries
1l water
1 pack vanilla sugar (or vanilla stick) + more sugar to taste
2-3 cloves
1 stick cinnamon
1 teaspoon lemon juice (i added instead a teaspoon of freshly made sea-buckthorn juice)
a zest from 1/2 lemon
1 apple, 1 pear
1 tablespoon potato starch

1. Wash berries, take off from the stalks and measure about 1 liter. Cook them in 1 liter water for about 20 minutes (until they soften and break). Press through a sieve and throw the seeds and rests away. Pour into the saucepan again. Add vanilla stick/sugar, cinnamon stick, lemon zest, cloves, lemon juice and sugar to taste. bring to boil. if it is still too tart for you, add 1/2 cup apple juice.

2. Mix potato starch with a little bit of water and add to the soup. Whisk well and boil. Lower the heat.

3. Peel apple and pear (throw seeds away), cut into slices. Add to the soup.

Usually this soup is eaten with milk-semolina balls, but I don't like them. You can serve your soup plain, with noodles (for instance ribbons), with crepes cut into long noodles or with semolina balls (Grießklößchen). How to prepare them? Cook thick semolina in milk or milk mixed with water with a pinch of sat and vanilla sugar. Add egg (half egg, one egg or more, depending on how much semolina dough you have) and cook them in water. When ready, put on the soups surface and let them swim :) Some people cook them directly in the soup but it's up to you.

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