Autumn and Winter are my favourite seasons. As soon as the leaves start dropping my thoughts turn to oozing salted caramel apple tarts, pumpkin pies and all manner of sweet and spiced delights.
When your commute turns into something out of The Revenant, you can be forgiven for wanting to curl up with sugary goodness every night of the week, which – if you’re anything like me – is a slippery slope to chocolate for breakfast, cookies for lunch madness.
As usual, our Nordic friends have come up with the perfect solution to healthy but delicious comfort food – hot fruit soup. It seems like Sweden, Finland and Denmark all have their varieties, using dried summer berries to create vitamin rich soups that stave off winter colds and warm cold winter nights. I used a modified version of this Finnish recipe to create enough soup for me and me alone and added a hefty dose of spices.
This soup is:
- Healthy enough to have for breakfast
- Gently spiced
- Full of Vitamin C
- Cozy and warming
- Perfect for a hygge evening at home or with friends
It also makes the kitchen smell delicious and can be whipped up in under half an hour.
SERVES 1 (but it’s easy to scale up for more)
- 1 cup of frozen blueberries
- Enough boiling water to just cover the berries
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- Pinch of ginger
- Pinch of nutmeg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp cornstarch (or less, depending on how thick you want it)
- 1 tbsp sugar (more if you have a sweet tooth)
- Elmlea or fresh cream to serve
- Add the blueberries, sugar and boiling water to a small pan; the water should just cover the blueberries
- Bring them to the boil, then reduce to a simmer for ten minutes, until the blueberries soften and begin to burst – I usually help them along by liberally smooshing them
- Add the spices and vanilla extract
- Mix the cornstarch with a splash of cold water to form a thick paste, add to the soup
- Stir until the soup is thickened, add more sugar if needed
- Serve with a liberal drizzle of fresh cream – I think this would also work pretty well with a splash of brandy!
Some people squash all the berries to get out the juice and then discard, but I prefer to leave them in. What are your favourite winter desserts?
Helen Cross | @Helen_Estelle