Minestrone of fruits with mascarpone sorbet

11 September 2006
Minestrone of fruits with mascarpone sorbet


(serves four)

500g/1lb ripe strawberries
4 large strawberries
250g/8oz caster sugar
150ml/1/4 pint water
1 vanilla pod
2 small new-season carrots cut into 5mm/1/4in dice
1 small courgette cut into 5mm/1/4in
12 raspberries
12 redcurrants
12 blackcurrants
1 small ripe mango
1/4 banana
Coarsely-ground black pepper
Lemon juice to taste
4 large fresh basil leaves coarsely shredded
For the Mascarpone sorbet
200g/7oz castersugar
350ml/12fl oz water
1/4tbs lemon juice
1/4tbs orange juice


To make the Mascarpone sorbet mix the caster sugar with the measured cold water in a saucepan bring to the boil and allow to cool. When cold whisk in the lemon juice orange juice and Mascarpone.

Churn in a sobetière then transfer to a container cover and place in the freezer until ready to use. When ready to serve form the sorbet into four quenelles using a tablespoon.

Wash the 500g/1lb of ripe strawberries then carefully pat them dry. Hull them then cut into quarters. Place in a bowl and sprinkle with 200g/7oz of the caster sugar. Cover the bowl tightly with clingfilm place on top of a pan of gently simmering water and cook gently for about 1½ hours.

Remove the strawberries from the heat and tip the contents of the bowl into a fine muslin or jelly bag and allow to drip through for 3-4 hours. Do not force or squeeze - the juice must be very clear.

Bring the measured cold water to the boil add the remaining caster sugar and the vanilla pod. Add the carrots and courgettes to the pan and poach gently in the vanilla syrup.

Wash and drythe raspberries redcurrants blackcurrants and the four extra strawberries. Cut the mango strawberries and banana into neat 3mm/1/8in dice.

Pour the strawberry juice into a stainless steel pan and combine with the fruits. Warm very carefully - do not overheat. Add the diced carrots and courgettes season to taste with the coarsely-ground black pepper and add lemon juice to taste.

Divide the strawberry minestrone and shredded basil leaves between four small soup plates. Drop a quenelle of Mascarpone sorbet into the soup at the last moment and top with a grind of pepper.

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