Thursday, May 21, 2009

Rhubarb Fruit Soup aka Rhubarb Kissel Recipe

Rhubarb fruit soup / Rabarbrikissell

Rhubarb season is in full swing here in Estonia. Every rhubarb season means that I'm trying out a number of new recipes, but it also means I'm cooking old and traditional favourites. Rabarbrikissell aka rhubarb kissel or rhubarb fruit soup is definitely one of them. It's so easy and effortless to make (slice, heat, thicken), has such a delightful flavour, and it's cheap to make :) It's something my mum would make couple of times a week during late Spring and early Summer when we were kids, so it's firmly imprinted in my culinary memory :)

Note that rhubarb contains oxalic acid, which, if consumed in excess, is toxic (oxalic acid is also present in carambola, spinach, chard, sorrel, beans, cocoa, and most of the berries). As oxalic acid inhibits the absorption of Calcium by the human body, it's recommended to serve rhubarb with dairy. This fruit soup goes well with a dollop of whipped cream or some curd cheese dessert (see photo below), or even thick Greek yoghurt.

Other fruit soup recipes @ Nami-Nami:
Cranberry fruit soup
Raisin fruit soup

Rhubarb fruit soup
Serves six

Rhubarb fruit soup with curd cheese cream / Rabarbrikissell kohupiimakreemiga

500 grams of tender rhubarb stalks
1 litre of water
200 g sugar
2 Tbsp potato starch/potato flour (see Note below)

Rinse the rhubarb stalks and slice thinly (5 mm or 1/5 of an inch). If you're using tender rhubarb stalks, then there's absolutely no need to peel them first.
Place wter and rhubarb into a saucepan and bring to the boil. Simmer for 5-7 minutes, until rhubarb softens.
Add sugar, stir until dissolved.
Mix potato starch with some cold water until you've got a runny paste. Pour this into the fruit soup, stirring constantly. Bring back to the boil and remove IMMEDIATELY from the heat (if cooked for too long, the fruit soup becomes thin again).
Let cool and serve.

Note on the use of starch. It's more common to use potato starch in Estonia, but you can certainly use cornflour (UK)/cornstarch (US) instead. If doing so, cook the kissel for a few minutes after adding the starch, as cornflour/cornstarch needs to be heated properly in order to kick-start the thickening action.


alik said...

I like...

registry said...


Lennuk said...

I have tried with corn starch and it just doesn't work for me.
Both times it haven't turned thick.
Is there some special trick to it?
So, I prefer potato starch.
I'm glad that lately even regular grocery stores have started to carry potato starch here in US. Years ago you could find it only from the Chinese or Russian stores.
I love rhubarb!

Pille said...

Alik - good :)

Registry - depends where you're looking from :D

Lennuk - mina olen teinud kisselle maisitärklisega ka ja kenasti. Maisitärklist tuleb kindlasti paar minutit kuumutada, alles siis pakseneb.
PS See konkreetne kissell ei olegi väga paks. Kui Sulle meeldib paksem kissell, siis pead rohkem tärklist panema. Rabarbrikisselli mulle meeldib juua, noh :)