The noble art of making a classic Swedish Rose Hip Soup

Two years ago I wrote a post on my Swedish blog (JUST ANOTHER DAY IN PARADISE) about gathering rose hips (which can be a real painful business, so working gloves are recommended), drying them and finally turning them into a real classic Swedish dessert, a Rose Hip Soup.

Well, do people really take the trouble to pick these red, glowing bulbs and make their own rose hip soup from scratch, 2013? Besides myself, I haven’t heard of anyone who does. But still, there must be those doing it, at least thinking about doing it, judging by all the visits to this particular post. It is without doubt my most viewed one, and has skyrocketed my stats. Thanks! That’s why I’ve now decided to rerun the post in English.

Rose hip soup is not just a hot beverage in a thermos to keep you warm on outdoor activities or a tasty dessert, it is also a real vitamin C and antioxidant bomb. Making your own soup is easy and much tastier and healthier than the powder mix you might find in the supermarket. There’s no problem making the soup from fresh rose hips, but those who want to enjoy this delicacy throughout fall and winter have better dry them or make portions of purée and freeze for later use.

The best time to pick the rose hips is said to be right after the first frost. Don’t wait too long though and make sure the bulbs are red and firm. Avoid the soft, wrinkled and blackened ones.

Drying rose hips

Methods

  • Remove stalks and blossom ends.
  • Rinse in cold water, pat dry and cut the bulbs in halves.

Rose hips, halved

While doing this you can give a thought (with a smile) to those mischievous schoolboys back then who used hairy seeds from rose hips as itching powder, and tried to drop them down between shirt and back. So, to avoid too much itching – use a pair of thin plastic gloves while handling the rose hips.

  • Spread the rose hips on a baking tray and allow to dry in the oven at gentle 50º C until the shells are dry and hard. Shake the tray and stir now and then, and it’s a good idea to keep the oven door slightly ajar.

Drying rose hips

  • Let the rose hips cool and make sure that they are thoroughly dry before placing them in a glass jar and store in a dark place until it’s time to use them.

If I have the time and energy I sometimes poke the seeds out, but just as often I leave them as they contain beneficial essential fatty acids.

Rose hip purée

As mentioned above, if you don’t want to bother with the drying procedure you can just as well make a purée from fresh rose hips and store in the freezer.

Methods

  • Remove stalks and blossom ends, rinse and boil in plenty of water for about 20 minutes.
  • Drain and save some of the cooking water.
  • Press the hips through a strainer or sieve with a wooden spoon or spatula and dilute the paste with a some cooking water to a purée-like consistency and freeze in 400 ml containers.

1. Soup made of rose hip purée
4 servings

  • 400 ml rose hip purée
  • 1200 ml water
  • 3 tablespoons potato starch + 100 ml water
  • sugar to taste (50 – 150 ml)

Methods

  • Mix purée and water and boil vigorously for a few minutes.
  • Skim off the scum.
  • Dissolve potato starch in cold water and add the liquid to the soup in a fine stream, stirring constantly.
  • Allow the soup to get a quick boil (just enough for the first bubble to burst), then remove soup from the stove.
  • Add sugar to your own taste.

2. Traditional rose hip soup made from dried rose hips
4 servings

  • 500 ml dried rose hips
  • 1500 ml cold water
  • 2 tbsp potato starch
  • 50 – 150 ml sugar

Methods

  • Boil rose hips and water.

Boiling rose hips

  • When the hips are properly soft, drain and save the cooking water.
  • Press rose hips through a sieve.

Passed through a sieve

  • Dilute the purée with cooking water until it measures 1250 ml.
  • Boil the soup.
  • Dissolve potato starch in a little cold water and add the liquid in a fine stream, stirring constantly.
  • Add sugar according to your own taste and bring the soup to a quick boil.

3. Rose hip soup with a vanilla and honey twist
5-6 servings

  • 500 ml dried rose hips
  • 1500 ml water
  • half a vanilla pod
  • 3 tbsp liquid honey.

Methods

  • Let rose hips soak i the water for 4 hours.
  • Add the vanilla pod and mix everything in the food processor or with a hand blender.
  • Add the honey and boil for a few minutes.
  • Strain and serve.

A rose hip soup is often served warm with ice cream or lukewarm or cold with whipped cream or cardamom yoghurt and with mini macaroons or almond flakes on top.

Cardamom yoghurt
Mix 150 ml Turkish yoghurt, 1 tsp ground cardamom and 2 tbsp brown sugar.

Rose hip soup with cream

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