The Vegetable Diaries: Strawberry Basil Soup

I will come to regret these words, I know, but I am ready for fall.

Allow me to explain.

The subway smells like feet and beer, my hair has a frizz halo, and after those last weeks in July, I’m expecting a thank-you card from Con-Ed. Or at least that they’ll follow me on Twitter.

I'm ready for sweaters and new pencils. Ready to sleep with my windows open because there’s a breeze, and ready for holidays where I can rejoice and remorse in just 10 days! And, yes, even I, a veritable publicist for the plant-based, am ready for less salad. This faux-fall enthusiasm happens to me at the end of every summer, conveniently coinciding with the September issue.

It really all comes down to soup. I lo-ove soup. I read once that there are "soup people" and "not soup people," and while this unbelievably progressive theory may be completely made-up, I think there is some wisdom to be found in that. Personally, I'll be happy with just about anything warm that comes in a bowl. I never have soup fatigue; rather, it's usually the key to my survival of New York winters (along with 10-hour hand warmers).

Now that I'm LWM (Living Without a Microwave), I look to cook options that are served cold or room temperature so as to avoid reheating (yes, because I am lazy and impatient). And while this could provide a problem for me and my soup-love, it actually serves as the perfect opportunity to embrace summer one last time with cold fruit soup.

With the bounty of ripe options at your greenmarket or grocery store right now, making a soup based on your favorites is very simple. For inspiration, I like to look at cocktail menus and see what flavor combinations jump out at me. Bartenders spend tons of time considering what will make refreshing drinks and they often hold up in soup form sans alcohol. Peach/ginger? Watermelon/cucumber? Appel/fennel? Taste whatever pair you like first to decide your proportions (more peach, less ginger, etc.).

The Strawberry Basil Soup below was made with zero-percent plain Greek yogurt, which serves as a healthier alternative to heavy cream but still provides the dish with some body. Greek yogurt also contains pro-biotic bacteria that supports digestive health, as well as calcium and a bit of protein. Strawberries have been shown to contain considerable amounts of vitamin C, K and potassium.

Strawberry Basil Soup

  • 2 cups strawberries, hulled and roughly chopped
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt, 0% or 2%
  • juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 1/2 cup loosely-packed basil leaves
  • 1 TBSP + 1 tsp honey
  • balsamic vinegar (optional)

Combine strawberries, yogurt, basil, lemon juice and honey in a blender until mixed but still thick. Pour into bowls and finish with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.

Mallory Stuchin, a native Manhattanite, is the food editor for She is also a natural foods chef and has worked for Mario Batali. Her writing has previously been featured in The New York Observer, Glamour and Maxim, as well as other publications in New York and Los Angeles. Mallory has also studied Ashtanga yoga in Mysore, India and has taught classes at PURE Yoga and New York University. You can follow her on Twitter @malstuch.

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