rhubarb soup

Kiiseli is a fruit soup from Finland that generations of my family grew up making. The family recipe is drawn from my mother’s best advice, her 1966 Finnish cookbook, a peek through my grandmother’s 1948 cookbook and a family friend’s 1933 cookbook. With all that research, your kiisseli should make a fine old fashioned (yet gluten and dairy-free!) dessert.


We’re going to need:
1 litre water,
750 grams chopped rhubarb,
200 grams sugar, to taste,
4 tbsp fine potato, tapioca or arrowroot flour,
more for acidic fruit.

Cook the rhubarb in the water for a short while til softened. Add sugar to taste. (I like to pop up the sweetness with stevia, and drop the sugar.) Dissolve potato flour in a small amount of cool water and then stir the solution very well into the rhubarb mix, til it just begins to boil. Take the rhubarb off the heat, and sprinkle a little sugar on top to prevent a skin forming. Serve it cool. Double cream or ice cream is gorgeous with it. We love combining rhubarb & strawberries, or in the summer, blueberries & raspberries. My mother usually adds the strawberries or raspberries when finished cooking to retain their freshly picked flavour. I love to think of all my relatives, a long time ago, maybe on the farm in Finland, making kiiseli, eating it together round the table. I have pictures of my children as toddlers, painted with rhubarb soup.


I look forward to the moment our rhubarb is tall enough to pull!

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