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in the kitchen with: amy cotler’s strawberry yogurt soup

by Kristina Gill

A few years ago, I became a locavore for financial reasons.  We were going through a very tough time so I had to readjust our lifestyle.  Among other things, like taking public transportation to work, this also meant abandoning the supermarket for more affordable food options.  I started going to the produce market and located a farm nearby which sells dairy, meat and poultry, and a few seasonal vegetables and fruit as well.  We don’t miss the supermarket at all, and have gotten use to the fact that we have to reserve our eggs and butter a day to a week in advance.

Massachusetts based chef, author, and teacher Amy Cotler is a champion of local food and healthy school meals, and has provided a recipe for strawberry yogurt soup which takes advantage of the tastiest seasonal and local ingredients.   I used local honey, yogurt, and strawberries to prepare this recipe, but confess that the oranges came from Sicily…the last of the blood oranges for the year! If strawberries are not available in your area now, Amy suggests waiting until they are to make this recipe.  If you are too curious to wait and decide to try another fruit that’s in season where you are, let us know!  –Kristina

CLICK HERE for the full recipe and more about Amy after the jump!

About Amy

Amy Cotler is veteran chef, cookbook author, cooking teacher and local food advocate. Her blog and new book of the same title, The Locavore Way, Discover and Enjoy the Pleasures of Local Eating, is a comprehensive primer on seeking out and savoring local foods anywhere you live. Ms. Cotler was the longtime web food forum host for The New York Times. She has developed close to 1000 recipes, including major contributions to Joy of Cooking.  She was the founding director of Berkshire Grown, a regional organization nationally recognized as a model for local food advocacy. Ms. Cotler was a pioneer in improving school lunches with her book, The Massachusetts Farm to School Cookbook, which trains school food service staff to cook with farm-fresh foods. Currently, she lectures and teaches around the country on food and farm issues, as well as consulting with businesses, non-profits and schools.  She lives in West Stockbridge in Western Massachusetts with her husband, painter Tom Powers, her daughter, Emma, and her white cat, Leroy.

Simple Strawberry Yogurt Soup

Serve this as a light meal, brunch course, or simple dessert.
Yields about 2 Cups/ 2 large/4 small Servings


l quart strawberries, hulled and halved

About l/3 cup confectioners’ sugar or 3 tablespoons local honey

Grated rind of one orange

2/3 cup yogurt

l/2 cup fresh orange juice

Slice and set aside about 8 strawberries for garnish. Remove the tops and half the rest of the strawberries.  Toss the halved strawberries with  the sugar or honey, orange rind. Let sit for 15 minutes. Blend in the food processor until smooth.  Whisk in the yogurt and orange juice, adding extra sweetener if needed.

Serve in chilled bowls with sliced berries sprinkled on top.

Why Amy chose this recipe:

I chose this recipe for its scrumptuous simplicity.  A locavore classic, it highlights two local ingredients — vibrant strawberries at their peak paired with local yogurt.  It also reminds me of annual berry picking outings with my daughter, Emma.  Whether you pick-your-own or buy them, be sure to use real strawberries, — locally grown, picked ripe and still warm from the sun. Part of the fun of being a locavore is waiting for your favorite foods, devouring them until satisfied, then waiting a year for them arrive again.

Recipe images by Kristina Gill: magenta silicone jar seal by CKS, olive wood cutting boards by Andrea Brugi; orange melamine mixing bowl by Mepal; small flared bowl (steel), pebble bowl medium (white), dipping bowl (pink), dessert bowls (white and pink) by mud australia, berry spoons and large spoon vintage

Suggested For You


  • I’ve done a similar soup with peaches that I got from a bed and breakfast down in VA – yummy, yum, yum! Unfortunately, I don’t have the recipe at work. Will post it when I get home tonight!

    This looks yummy too :)

  • @Lizabeth I thought height of the season peaches and mangoes would be perfect. I also thought working with avocado in some way would work.

  • this looks SO good! i live in florida and strawberries are out in full force–love it.

    i bet mango would be good, too; kind of like a mango lassi (yum).

  • This looks delicious! In fact, it looks similar to another healthy recipe: Spanish gazpacho, basically, a tomato and other ingredients soup where you can add Spanish ham, almonds, or many other things as toppings, healthy and delicious, my favourite combination :)
    Thanks for the recipe! Best regards,

  • We are ready to make our first strawberry soup of the season this weekend although my recipe is slightly different. Our strawberries come from a farm just 3 miles away. As a way to stretch seasonal local foods we freeze some of the soup and found that it is wonderful eaten frozen too for a sherbet like dessert.

  • Yippee! Organic strawberries on sale this week at the local grocery store :) Guess what I’m making….

    Peach soup:
    5 large ripe peaches, pitted, peeled & quartered
    1/4 cup sugar
    1 cup plain yogurt
    1/4 cup orange juice
    1/4 cup lemon juice
    1/4 cup cream sherry
    fresh mint for garnish

    Puree peaches and sugar in blender. Add yogurt & blend. Add oj and lemon juice & blend. Add sherry & mix until smooth. Refrigerate overnight. Use mint for garnish. Serves 4-6


    Now to figure out what to combine with an avocado for a soup… :)

  • This looks delicious! I might have to try it with blueberries. (Mostly and sadly not local, in this part of the country, it is oddly not easy to find local foods.) Of course, once our two new blueberry bushes get going, that won’t be an issue.

    The peach soup Lisbeth shares in the comments sounds wonderful as well! Not sure what I’d put with the avocado, though…

  • For the avocado, I have heard (tho not tasted) about avocado milkshakes. What attracts me to the idea of fruit soups is the prospect of them being velvety smooth, which is why I think peaches and mangoes would be fantastic with Amy’s concept. Keeping it seasonal and local of course!

  • This sounds delish! We just picked 18 lbs. of strawberries yesterday, so among the strawberry freezer jam and shortcakes, I think we will try strawberry yogurt soup. Thanks for sharing!

  • OK. that sounds so wonderful…and so very simple I am-like why didn’t I think of that-I love yogurt! The only change I will make is pure honey to pure maple…I am making this TODAY!

    Thank you for sharing,

  • Oooh! This is perfect timing! We have trucks going around the streets here in Istanbul at the moment selling the most delicious strawberries at a kilo for 1TL (around 65c) at the moment! I was running out of things to make but will definitely try this – yum!

  • maybe i’m crazy but our local farmers market is definitely not cheaper than the supermarket. i wish it was!!

  • Hi Susan,

    You’re not crazy. It is the opposite here than in the US. You can buy much cheaper in the farmer’s market or fresh produce markets than in the supermarket. All the produce at the farm I go to for example is Euro 1/kg, with no distinction. It travels all of 40 feet from the fields to the bins…! Of course this price is the exception…but at the produce market I go to for most things from autumn through spring, it’s still cheaper than a store.