Tangy rhubarb and sweet strawberries mingle in this dessert soup that’s flavored with white beer, citrus, ginger, and honey. The consommé is plated with warmed fresh cheese and crunchy gingersnaps, bridging the gap between the cheese course and dessert.
Special equipment: You will need a large piece of ultrafine woven cheesecloth for this recipe. Cheesecloth can be purchased at cooking supply stores or online.
For a more conventional but equally stunning take on the classic pairing of these two fruits, get our Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie with Sour Cream Crust recipe.
- Yield: 4 servings
- Difficulty: Easy
- Total: 1 hr, plus chilling time
- 1 pound strawberries, washed and hulled
- 5 large rhubarb stalks, washed and trimmed
- 1 medium navel or blood orange
- 12 ounces rhubarb soda
- 6 ounces white beer, such as Hoegaarden
- 1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and scraped, seeds and pod reserved
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar, plus more as needed
- 1/4 cup orange blossom honey, plus more as needed
- 3 (1/2-inch-thick) slices fresh ginger
- 3 fresh lavender stalks or pinch dried lavender
- 4 ounces fresh goat cheese or fresh cow’s-milk cheese
- 8 gingersnap cookies, coarsely chopped
- Cut 3 of the strawberries into small dice and place in a small bowl; set aside. Cut the remaining strawberries into 1/4-inch-thick slices and place in a medium bowl; set aside.
- Cut half of a rhubarb stalk into small dice and place in the bowl with the diced strawberries; cover and refrigerate until ready to use. Cut the remaining rhubarb stalks into large dice and place in a large pot.
- Using a vegetable peeler, remove the zest from the orange. Halve the orange and cut each half into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Place the zest and the orange slices in the pot with the rhubarb.
- Add the soda, beer, vanilla pod and seeds, sugar, honey, ginger, and lavender to the pot. Place over medium heat and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally until the sugar dissolves. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer until the rhubarb is knife tender.
- Add the reserved sliced strawberries and continue to simmer until softened. Taste and add more sugar or honey as needed.
- Set a large fine-mesh strainer over a large heatproof bowl and line the strainer with a double layer of ultrafine woven cheesecloth. Working in batches if needed, ladle the mixture into the strainer, press gently on the solids, and discard the solids (also discard the cheesecloth when you’re done). Refrigerate the consommé until cold.
- When ready to serve, heat the oven to 350°F and arrange a rack in the middle.
- Meanwhile, place 1/2 cup of the consommé in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer. Add the reserved small-dice strawberries and rhubarb and cook until just softened. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Slice the cheese into 4 rounds. Press one cut side of the cheese into the chopped gingersnaps and then place it, gingersnap-side down, on a baking sheet or in an oven-safe frying pan. Repeat with the remaining cheese rounds. Set aside any remaining gingersnaps for garnish. Bake the cheese until just warmed through, about 2 to 3 minutes.
- For each serving, place 1 piece of cheese in the center of a wide, shallow soup bowl. Garnish with a quarter of the diced cooked fruit. Pour the consommé around the cheese and sprinkle with the remaining gingersnaps. Serve immediately.