Recipe: Hot And Sour Rhubarb-Strawberry Soup With Chicken
If you’re in the Berkshires and need to meet with someone, in a place where you can get a nice pastry and coffee or a local/organic/homemade meal in a convivial (and wired) setting, where do you go? Very likely, it’ll be one of the two Haven Café and Bakery locations (Lenox and Great Barrington, Mass.), which are favorites on just about everyone’s list. The cafes’ motto is “Taste the Love,” and you really can. Executive Chef Matt Schweitzer shares the recipes of some of Haven’s tastiest offerings with Rural Intelligence readers.
When rhubarb season arrives, culinarians everywhere quest for new ways to celebrate this perennial vegetable. In our Haven kitchens, we think we’ve found a new winner. On its own, rhubarb is bitter and can be somewhat stringy to chew if not prepared properly. “I remember as a kid my Grandma cutting the stalks and giving them to me raw with a bowl of sugar to dip,” says Abby Simchak Donovan, Haven’s director of marketing and special events.
So don’t be afraid of the seemingly large amounts of honey and chili sauce. Both are very sweet but necessary to pair with the rhubarb in this recipe. The strawberries give this soup another dimension and add a familiar flavor. Top it off with cilantro and scallions for a truly sophisticated finish. This recipe makes enough for a crowd or freeze it for when you want to revisit rhubarb heaven. Thanks to Chef Matt, Chef Shelly and their team for creating yet another recipe unique to Haven!
Hot and Sour Rhubarb-Strawberry Soup with Chicken
2 lbs fresh rhubarb, roughly chopped
2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into bite-size pieces
2 quarts fresh strawberries
1 white onion, cut into 1/2” pieces
2 jalepenos, roughly chopped, including seeds
1 chipotle pepper, chopped
2 cups sweet chili sauce
3 quarts chicken stock
1 cup honey
1 cup cilantro, minced
1/2 cup scallions, sliced thin on the diaganol
Salt and freshly ground black peper
1. In a large pot on medium high heat, place the rhubarb, strawberries, onion, jalepenos, chipotle pepper, chili sauce, chicken stock and honey. Bring to a boil and adjust heat to lightly boil unti all ingredients are tender, about 15 minutes. Cool slightly.
2. Puree the mixture in a blender, in batches if necessary, and place back into pot.
3. Add the chicken and simmer on medium low heat, covered, for 45 minutes to let the flavors meld.
4. Remove from heat, ladle into bowls and garnish with cilantro and scallions.
5. Serve immediately.