Last week I escaped the extreme heat in Minneapolis by going to Florida. Yes, you heard me right I went to Florida in June and it was cooler than what it was in the Twin Cities. Record highs and temperatures in the triple digits. What?!? It was below zero just a couple of months ago and snow flurries only weeks ago. I just don’t get this place.
Anyhow, so I managed to bike home the six miles from campus in the 102º heat and 35 mile per hour gusts of wind. I was extra proud of myself for figuring out that morning how to set the timer on my window AC unit so that when I stepped through the door after work a cool apartment would be waiting for me (and it wouldn’t cost me an arm and a leg). Sounds like a good plan right? Except there was no power I got home. And I very nearly died, right there on the spot. Until I remembered I had a chilled soup in my fridge (that was thankfully still cold).
This soup saved me. Rhubarb-Tangerine Soup. It sounds as odd as 102 temperatures in Minneapolis. I am not quite sure to call it an appetizer or a dessert dish. I’ll just say it is what it is. If you can’t quite wrap your head around rhubarb soup, then take it one step further and make creamsicles out of it. You can thank me later.
adapted from Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything********** 5-6 stalks of rhubarb, chopped in 1-inch pieces 2 tangerines, zested and juiced 2/3 cup sugar 3 cups water **********
Chop the rhubarb. Zest the tangerines. Juice the tangerines.
In a large pot, combine rhubarb, sugar, tangerine zest and juice and water.
Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook until rhubarb starts to fall apart, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a food processor and pulse until smooth. Refrigerate until chilled.
Whip up equal parts heavy cream and mascarpone cheese and dollop on top of chilled soup. Garnish with tangerine zest.
I am not kidding that this soup saved my life. It cooled my body and my temper when it needed it most. And please, take a little bit of this soup, mix in the mascarpone whipped cream until thoroughly combined and stick in some popsicle molds. The creamsicles are beyond words. I may have eaten them all in one sitting. But it’s okay because technically, rhubarb is a vegetable.