Served Chilled with Semolina Dumplings
Years ago my Nana bought elderberry juice at a local German import store. The taste was amazing, a rich deep berry flavor with a hint of black raspberry and rich undertones of dark cherries. She used elderberry juice to make syrup for crepes, in hot tea, in cold drinks and to make elderberry soup. Combined with a bit of lemon to reveal another delicious and aromatic nuance of the berry, the juice turns a beautiful magenta color. It is so intoxicating a flavor that Meghan Markle and Prince Harry thought it was the perfect romantic essence for their wedding cake.
My cousin Karen from Germany reawakened the delicious memory with her gift of Grandma’s German Cookbook by Brigit Hamm and Linn Schmitt. Suddenly, I just had to taste elderberry soup again and embarked on a quest to find the ingredients. In the United States the berry is hard to come by so the flavor must be obtained by Elderberry syrups, concentrates and St. Germain Elderflower Liquor. The Gourmet Goddess obtained a delicious Elderberry Syrup from Whole Foods, manufactured by Whole Harmony in Haddam, Connecticut. It contains cinnamon, ginger, cloves and honey.
A bit of elderberry concentrate or syrup is said to prevent and expedite recovery from colds, help alleviate the pain from arthritis and help with constipation. If you are not boiling elderberries or cannot get the juice, the concentrate needs to be used in moderation, too much of a good thing can have an adverse effect. It is rich in vitamin C and contains vitamin B6 and iron. People need to take note that it is particularly important that if you should come across the berry, the stems are toxic. The berry itself is a bit bitter so it always boiled and sugar is added.
Serving the soup chilled and by adding dollops of homemade semolina pudding makes an incredibly delicious soup. It is so refreshing, filling and rewarding and its appearance is captivating. Served as an appetizer on a hot day, you will marvel at the gourmet taste and wonder why it isn’t more popular in the states.
I implore you to make this delicious soup - it is a gourmet dish with a taste that is enchanting!
Always Stay In Touch with Your Inner Goddess!
Semolina Pudding Ingredients (adapted from Grandma’s German Cookbook)
2 cups Whole Milk
½ teaspoon Salt
¼ cup Granulated Sugar
1 Cinnamon Stick
2 teaspoons Pure Vanilla Extract
½ cup Semolina Flour
1 Large Egg (lightly whisked)
Cherry Elderberry Soup Ingredients
4 cups Pure Cherry Juice
2 tablespoons Cornstarch
2 tablespoon Granulated Sugar
¼ cup Elderberry Syrup
1 tablespoon Lemon Zest (1 lemon, no pith please)
¼ cup St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur
2 cans pitted Dark Sweet Cherries in Heavy Syrup, drained
Semolina Pudding Instructions
Using a medium saucepan bring milk, salt, sugar, and cinnamon stick to a boil.
Remove cinnamon stick.
Stir in semolina flour and stir constantly over low heat for 2 -3 minutes until pudding thickens.
Beat in egg and vanilla.
Pour into a small bowl and refrigerate at least 2 hours.
Instructions for Cherry Elderberry Soup
Mix cornstarch with 1/3 cup of cherry juice.
Prepare the zest of 1 lemon.
Place the rest of the cherry juice, elderberry syrup, sugar and lemon zest in a pot and bring to a simmer over medium high heat.
Slowly add cornstarch mixture and stir about 3 minutes until soup thickens.
Add St. Germain Liqueur and bring to a simmer for 1 minute.
Remove from heat and add drained dark pitted cherries.
Chill for at least 2 hours.
Serve chilled with dollops of semolina pudding.