My co-workers will take any excuse they can get to throw a party. French holiday that has no meaning to us? Bring on the Brie! Broke your back and you’ve returned? Fill your plate! Blue Moon? Of course! They’re pretty rare, after all. And so we found ourselves celebrating the blue moon on Friday with a blue- and moon-themed party.
I cut it kinda close. I know, you’re not surprised. I just had to attend the last street fair of the summer Thursday night, so I didn’t even get started until after 10PM. At which point I threw together this berry blue jello mousse pie that became a contender only because of its hue. I didn’t have high hopes for success with this concoction, so I also purchased a package of moon pies. One can never be too safe. An hour later, I decided that I also needed to bring in Blue Moon beer. Since we can’t exactly pop the top and kick it back at our desks, I hid it in an obvious place–beer bread. (By the way, to those of you to whom I sold packages of beer bread at home parties, I’m sorry. I had no idea it was so easy to make from scratch–and so much cheaper!) 2AM arrived and I finally called it quits. Surely there was enough to go around.
I could have saved myself a lot of trouble. I knew I had a First on the First deadline looming and with the blue moon party, I had the perfect excuse for making blueberry soup. But when I mentioned it at work, I got a lot of funny faces. It seems my co-workers were not so keen on trying a cold fruit soup, even with my assuring them that it’s pretty close to drinking a smoothie. Sure. No dice.
I can’t blame them. Other than a strawberry yogurt soup that a now-gone bake shop and restaurant used to offer, cold soup has been pretty foreign to me, as well. The concept is a little creepy, right up there with cold potatoes in a salad (yuck!), and I wasn’t so sure I would be up to the task. Regardless, I couldn’t get guinea pigs this time–I was on my own.
On my own…and lacking the enthusiasm to actually get on with it and make the soup. It’s not that the process was all that difficult–if you can make a smoothie, you can make this soup. I just had a hard time getting all that excited about tasting the end result. Truth be told, I can be a picky pain in the ass when it comes to food, though I am trying to change that for my kids’ sake. And I was dreading this. Something sweet should be just fine–we’re not talking gazpacho here–yet I put it off. And put it off. And the next thing I knew, it was on the other side of midnight and I had the blender running, knowing that, while I may have managed to finally make the cold soup, I still had to photograph it. I convinced myself it would be best to get some rest and just get up early the morning the First on the First assignment was due to finish checking this off the list and move on.
In the light of a full blue harvest moon, it’s so easy to forget the allure of a warm bed on a dark morning. And how impossible it is to drag oneself out of it early on a Saturday. I didn’t want to, but I felt I had a duty to wipe the sleep from my eyes and pour myself a bowl of blue soup. It was the least I could do.
The verdict on the taste? Meh. There are a lot of flavors at work here. I probably used too much basil in my attempt at getting excited about this project and if I were to make this again, I’d probably leave the basil out altogether. The bigger issue is that it just plain felt weird eating cold, blue soup. The consistency didn’t seem right, considering when I eat soup, I load it up with crackers. This was more like baby food. And the cinnamon leaves a lingering aftertaste. My daughter tried it, too, and while she attempted to be enthusiastic at first, after a few bites, she concluded that she really didn’t like it either. I don’t think this will become a regular in our house. To be fair, though, I’ve shared the recipe I used with my variations in their entirety, in case you’d like to try your hand at a cold soup and tweak it to your tastes. I think I’ll stick with my usual warm varieties from now on…
- 1 pint fresh blueberries
- 6 fresh basil leaves
- 6 ounces (3/4 cup) plain Greek yogurt
- ½ cup whole milk
- 2 Tablespoons liquid Sugar in the Raw (turbinado cane syrup)
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon fine sea salt
- In a blender jug combine all the ingredients.
- Process on puree until smooth, then let sit for 5 minutes.
- Place a fine-mesh sieve over your container and strain the blended berries concoction. Discard the skins and seeds left behind in the sieve.
- Chill in the refrigerator.
- Before serving, stir, adding more whole milk if necessary to achieve desired consistency.
Next month we’ll be making bread pudding. Fall is on the way, after all! If you think you’d like to join us for First on the First, click on the tab above for more information. We’d love to share our culinary journey with you!
And now, to see what the other First on the First participants made for their cold soups!