Rose Hip Soup With Ice Cream, A Swedish Delight
October 1, 2012 8:58 PM

   

Though I was not aware of this until a few days ago, apparently Rose Hip Soup is quite the Swedish soup. So naturally when I learned of this, I just had to write this post about it. Now Rose Hip Soup is made out of Rose Hips, which are the fruits of wild roses that grow in in Sweden. Rose Hip Soup can be eaten or drunk both cold and warm and is consumed either as a snack, beverage or dessert.

Rose Hip Soup With Ice Cream
I prefer to eat Rose Hip Soup just like this, lukewarm in a bowl with vanilla ice cream. Yuuummyy!! :p

Other common ways to eat Rose Hip Soup is with tiny macaroons, corn flakes or even sprinkled crisp bread in it. To eat or drink it just as it is works too of course.

But even though I do eat Rose Hip Soup from time to time nowadays, I mostly associate it with my childhood. I especially remember how Rose Hip Soup was a common treat served to us children when we visited my friends grandparents. It was also something I sometimes ate or drank in school or at the community youth center when I was younger. So because of these memories, Rose Hip Soup feels more like a childrens soup to me. However, like I said, I do get the occasional craving for it every now and then - although I do think it is more the ice cream part than the soup that entice me about it. Lol!

But back to what I said before, Rose Hip Soup is made out if Rose Hips - the fruit of wild roses that grow in in Sweden. The flower of the plant grow between May and September and the fruit between August and September. When the Rose Hips are ripe, they are collected in dry weather. They should be picked just when they become red, but not hard. Because after that stage the vitamin content in the fruit decrease.

When it comes to making the soup, many Swedes prefer to make their own Rose Hip Soup. Some people also add special twists to their soup or use old family recipes when they make it. I, on the other hand, prefer to buy ready made Rose Hip Soup. In Sweden we can buy liquid ready made soup or powder soup which you then add liquid to at home to make the soup. I usually buy the liquid option in tetra pack.

Ekstrom Rose Hip Soup
This is the Rose Hip Soup I have at home right now.

Typical ingredients in a ready made soup are: water, Rose Hips (or Rose Hip powder), sugar, thickener, citric acid and vitamin C. In fact, Rose Hip Soup is quite rich in vitamin C and therefore it is said to be rather healthy (if you do not add any other sweet stuff to it of course). Though the sugar in it is not that healthy really. Actually, I have tried Rose Hip Soup without any added sugar, which is available to buy. But honestly, that soup was quite tasteless. So some sweetness is needed in there I think.

During the manufacturing of ready made Rose Hip Soup the whole Rose Hip is used. The parts that are not in the base of the soup, like the seeds, are burnt up in ovens and in that way the "waste" provide some of the heat and energy needed in the making process. When the soup has finished boiling it is freeze dried or heated and cooled in a protected environment to later be filled in bags and tetra pack.

When Rose Hips are dried and pulverized to become Rose Hip powder, the seeds are removed and the rest of the fruits are dried airy in room temperature or in an oven at 50°. Afterwards the fruits dry a bit more until the are hard and completely dry so they then can be pulverized into the powder which is used to make the Rose Hip Soup. Both of these methods help ensure long duration, which is why no preservatives need to be added. And because basically no commercial Rose Hip Farms exist in Sweden, the soup produced in Sweden is also sold in Sweden. No major export occur. But about 800 tons of dried Rose Hips are annually imported to Sweden, mostly from Chile and Bulgaria.

Now, due to the fact that I knew I was going to write this post today I kept an eye out for Rose Hip bushes on my walk with my dog Lisen this morning. And it did not take very long until I spotted some. :-)

Rose Hip Bushes
In fact, these two Rose Hip Bushes on either side of the walkway grow just a few hundred meters from where I live here in Lyckeby in Sweden. Though I should say that I am not sure these are the type of Rose Hips you can make soup from, or anything else for that matter? After all, more than ten different kind of wild species of Rose Hip bushes grow in Sweden. And I have no idea which kind this is?

Rose Hip
Either way, I did find a few OK looking Rose Hips on the bushes today.

Rose Hip
But most of them had dried out.

Rose Hip Soup With Ice Cream, A Swedish Delight
Lisen looking like she is a bit tired of all my new found Rose Hip fascination. Lol!

Rose Hip
Now these are the seeds in the Rose Hip that are removed before drying the fruit. Actually these seeds, or fine hairs here, are commonly known as itching powder. Because they make your skin itch like crazy when applied onto to it - ouch!! I remember how this was a popular way to mess with someone when I was in school, to grab some Rose Hips seeds and pour them inside somebody's sweater. Not very nice...

But besides also being used as a cruel practical joke, the Rose Hip is used for many other things as well. Like tea, marmalade, jam or lemonade for instance. The fruit can even be eaten as it is, though you must remove the seeds of course. Even so, Rose Hip Soup is what the fruit is mostly used for - at least here in Sweden. And in case anyone is curious to see a recipe of Rose Hip Soup, I found one in English at foodbycountry.com - it only has four ingredients! Actually, now that I think of it, maybe IKEA sell Rose Hip Soup? Hm.. Could be quite possible. Either way, I do hope you all give it a go. AND, of course - please do not forget to add some ice cream to it! Because then surely the Rose Hip Soup cannot be anything but a delight to eat. ;p

Sources: brantvall.web.surftown.se, shenet.se

/A.L
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