I’m kicking off the unofficial start of summer with a whole week of new popsicle recipes, tips, useful links, and DAILY GIVEAWAYS. Homemade popsicles are so incredibly versatile I need an entire week to explore all the reasons why you NEED these in your life this summer. I’m dedicating each day this week to a different kind of popsicle, and today I’m taking yesterday’s theme of savory ingredients a step further and exploring the idea of the popsicle as a cooling first course.
Don’t forget to leave a comment at the end of any or all of the week’s posts to be automatically entered to win a different giveaway every day! (details below)
Chilled summer soup in popsicle form, hmmm… I admit I wasn’t sure it was going to work, but the idea nagged at me all week. I thought about versions of gazpacho, vichyssoise, cucumber yogurt… I love chilled soups and I figured there must be a way to combine the two concepts into one refreshing idea for a hot weather first course.
So are you a beet lover, or a beet hater? I think they’re a spectacular food, and some of my favorite recipes on the blog have been made with beets. Did any of you try those Beet Chips? I hope I have at least a few lovers hanging in here with me, these pops are a big surprise thumbs up! Lots of cultures do cold yogurt based soups, but in Eastern Europe and Russia they’re especially prized, and this blend of roasted and pureed beets and yogurt is a traditional summer dish. You can also use sour cream or crème fraîche in place of the yogurt.
Picture this… you’re having a few friends over for dinner, you’ve got something on the grill, or maybe you’re doing a potluck summer salad buffet, and you appear with the first course…popsicle soup! It’ll be a hit, and a conversation starter. If you don’t like beets, try this with a smooth curried carrot soup, or, one of my favorites, cold cucumber yogurt soup. I have a gorgeous CHILLED SOUP Pinterest board where you can get all sorts of ideas.
- 1 medium beet (about 6 oz)
- Greek yogurt (about 1 1/2 cups total)
- milk or cream to thin, if necessary
- a squeeze of fresh lemon
- 1 tsp pomegranate molasses
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Set oven to 400F
- Wash the beet and wrap loosely in foil. Roast for about 1 1/2 hours, or until tender when pierced with a sharp knife Let cool, and then peel and give it a rough chop.
- Puree the beet in a small food processor. Keep scraping down the sides as necessary until you get the beet as finely pureed as possible.
- Add 1 cup of the yogurt to the machine and process until the mixture is nice and smooth.
- Season with the lemon juice, pomegranate molasses and salt to taste.
- Thin the mixture with some milk or cream until it is the consistency of thick pancake batter. Fill the molds ALMOST to the top, but leave about 1/4 inch. Clean up any spills from the mold.
- Put the mold in the freezer for about an hour.
- Thin another 1/2 cup of yogurt to a pourable consistency and fill the molds to the top. Insert the sticks, and freeze for another several hours, or overnight, until firm.
- To unmold the pops, fill your sink with hot water and immerse the mold up to, but not over the edge for 15 seconds. If the pops don't slide out easily, immerse for another few seconds.
- Serve these popsicles in small bowls, garnished with a mint or dill sprig.
A nice creamy consistency is important for this soup, and you will get the best puree from a good blender or a small food processor. You can strain the puree through a mesh sieve for an even finer texture if you like.
Experiment with ‘popsical-izing’ other chilled soups. Fruit soups are an obvious choice, and other pureed veggies like carrots would work … I’m still intrigued by the notion of a gazpacho pop.
LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW and I’ll automatically enter you to win a popsicle mold, just like the one I use. I like it because it has the classic popsicle shape, and it’s sturdy. I’ll also send you 100 popsicle sticks so you can get started right away!
(I’ll announce all the daily giveaway winners at the end of the week)
GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED
For tons more popsicle inspiration, follow my POPSICLE PINTEREST BOARD
There aren’t many other examples of first course popsicles out there, but I found a few, (if I missed your favorite, link it up in the comments!) —
Blackberry and Chevre Popsicles from Cooking Stoned
Gingered Cantaloupe Soup Popsicles from The Dog’s Breakfast
Cucumber Soup Pops from gluten free girl
Tomato Cucumber Pop from Mark Bitman