I want to share my soup with you. It’s not just any soup. It’s elderberry soup, it’s delicious and it’s my favourite! Elderberries are tricky, poisonous, edible and healthy.. all at the same time. It’s a very common bush / tree in Scandinavia and by the looks of it my tree has been around for decades. It looks awful, is about 8 meters tall so I can’t really reach the berries without braking the branches and they are kind of scrawny anyway so it’s really not worth the hassle – the birds can have them. They really enjoy eating them and I enjoy looking at them eating so it’s win-win. I won’t cut the tree down though. According to old Norse Mythology it means a lot of bad luck if you do – if you don’t plant a new one that is – because the goddess Freja lives in the elderberry bush / tree (of course she needs a new home if you take hers. If you don’t give her that, well .. no wonder she gets mad 😁).
People in other parts of the world sometimes get worried when I tell them I eat elderberries. I get it but you just have to do it right then it’s all good. You can make what translates into soft drink (like lemonade) of the flowers. You can eat the flowers as well if you dip them in a very thin dough and deepfry them. I don’t do that – I just want the berries. The green ones are not ripe meaning they’re poisonous. Better not take them. The ripe berries are completely black. When rinsed it’s easy to separate them. The ripe ones will sink and the others floats. They still need to be boiled before you can eat them so the safe bet is to turn them into juice that you can use for a toddy or soup.
This soup is from the store (my deal with the birds). It should be ready to heat up and eat but I like it a wee bit thicker and just a tad sweeter. And I need to plan it. You see.. and this is weird – it’s not “normal”. I like cold rice pudding in there too so I make that the day before I want the soup. I also need to have good apples. Pealed, deseeded and cut into smaller pieces and dumped in the soup so they will cook just a bit and maybe get the beautiful colour of the soup. Then some “kammerjunkere” ..hmm haha.. typical! no translation is possible.. let’s call them small biscuits, yes?! Some prefer “tvebakker” (same translation problem. We’ll call them hard big biscuits). Do we have it all now? I think so.. Served piping hot on a cold day. Dig in..
I love the contrasts in this dish. The whole elderberry plant is poisonous but the ripe berries are full of vitamin A and C. The white against the dark red. The cold against the piping hot. The solid against liquid.. It’s just wonderful and it tastes really yummy…
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