If you can get your hands on gooseberries this summer, go for it. I grow gooseberries in my garden and they thrive in the northeast climate. For this refreshing summer soup, ripe gooseberries are best, otherwise you will need to increase the sugar. —Nadia Hassani
- Serves 4 to 6
10 ounces ripe gooseberries
½ cup to ¾ cups
sugar, to taste
Peel of ½ organic lemon
thumbnail-size piece of ginger, peeled and chopped
cornstarch (3/4 ounce)
of cream of tartar
A few drops of almond extract
unpeeled whole almonds
- For the soup, place gooseberries, 2 cups water, sugar, lemon peel, lemon juice and ginger in a large heavy saucepan and bring to a boil. Cook until the gooseberries soften and pop, stirring occasionally. You may also crush them with the cooking spoon to fasten the process.
- Pass the soup through the food mill (medium or fine disk). Pour the soup back into the pan.
- Dissolve the cornstarch in a few tablespoons of cold water. Whisk it into the soup and bring to a boil, whisking constantly. Cook until the soup turns clear again and thickens. Remove from the heat and cool, then chill.
- For the floating islands, beat the egg whites with the salt and the cream of tartar until they are very stiff, gradually adding the superfine sugar.
- Bring water to a boil in a very large deep pan or a wide pot. The floating islands should not touch each other when they poach so you might have to do this in two batches.
- Reduce the water to a simmer. Using two dessertspoons, place small mounds of egg whites on the water. Poach for 3 minutes, then turn them over and poach for another 3 minutes on the other side.
- Remove with a slotted spoon and place on a large plate or tray lined with wax paper. Refrigerate.
- For the almond crunch, lightly toast the almonds in a pan. Add 1 tablespoon sugar and caramelize, making sure not to burn it. Remove from the pan and let tool. Chop the almonds in the food processor using the pulse function.
- To serve, whisk the chilled soup well. Place the chilled floating islands on top and sprinkle with almond crunch.