The rose hip, also known as rose haw or rose hep, is the fruit of the rose plant, begin to form after successful pollination of flowers in spring or early summer, and ripen in late summer through autumn. My grandma used rose hips for herbal teas, jam, jelly, syrup, rose hip soup, pies, bread, beer, wine, and marmalade. But we also ate raw, like a berry, (if care is used to avoid the hairs inside the fruit). I didn’t know that the rose hip is very popular delicacy in Sweden. But I have a friend Lars who told me now is high the season for rose hip in Sweden where his mother serves as a beverage or as a dessert with milk, cream or vanilla ice cream. She adds tiny almond biscuits in addition when they eat as a dessert.
But Lars added, also in connection with the rosehip that in Sweden some also eat it for breakfast, but the types of soup for that purpose are generally a little simpler, meaning, lower in fruit content and a bit more watery. In this case, a few people like to add broken up crisp bread instead.
But in Sweden he generally likes fruit soups, especially bilberry and rosehip’s, where they are often eaten as a dessert (sometimes as a starter.) Because Swedish people are passionate foragers rosehips, which could be picked virtually anywhere for free, naturally came top of the fruity soups list.
There was another important reason why I picked up this recipe: rosehips contain a lot of the vitamins C, D and E, calcium and a load of antioxidants. In the winter months, in a country where I live now (in Germany/ Bavaria) that can be bitterly cold, they became an essential part of everyone’s diet. Mothers insisted children drink their rosehip soup for Sunday lunch to stay healthy. In Sweden it has been worked for generations: Swedish people have one of the highest life expectancies in Europe! Here is Lars’s recipe
Ingredients: 500 g rosehips, 4 tbsp brown sugar, 1 cinnamon stick, 3 apple juice, 100 ml cream, 2 tbsp grilled
- Cut each rosehip in half then scoop out every trace of the seeds and hairy bits. Keep the skins and discard the rest. This is a fiddly job and takes some time.
- Put the skins in a pan, add the water, bring to the boil and simmer for about 30 minutes until they are soft. Increase the heat and boil steadily for 15 minutes to reduce the liquid. Whiz in a food processor and then strain the liquid through muslin (cheesecloth) and return it to the pan.
- Add the sugar. Blend the cornflour (cornstarch) with a little of the liquid to form a runny paste. Slowly add the paste to the pan, stirring all the time, then simmer for 10-15 minutes until slightly thickened.
- Serve warm or cold, garnished with almond macaroons and crème fraîche or whipped cream or grilled hazelnut.