This strawberry shortcake fruit soup is adorable in presentation and super refreshing and fresh tasting. This is a fun and festive alternative to other fruit soups. Feel free to use leftover or store-bought pound cake in place of the lighter angel food cake or omit altogether. For the lightest version just use a decorative dollop of sour cream and the mixed fruit salsa. For special occasions add the cake for a creative and extra-sweet finishing touch.

1 quart fresh strawberries, hulled
and quartered
¼ cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract, divided
⅛ teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup water
3 tablespoons rosé wine, sweet
dessert wine or apple juice
½ cup light sour cream, plus
more for garnish
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
Cinnamon, nutmeg, fresh ginger or crushed red pepper, optional

Angel Food Cake Croutons
3 slices angel food cake, cut in ½-inch cubes (about 1 cup)

Fruit Salsa
2 cups chopped fresh fruit, such as strawberries, blueberries and mango
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
½ teaspoon lemon zest

1. In a medium bowl mix strawberries, sugar, lemon juice and zest, ¼ teaspoon vanilla and salt. Cover and let macerate in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours.
2. Puree strawberry mixture using an immersion blender. Add water, wine or apple juice, sour cream and balsamic vinegar and blend until completely smooth. For a zesty kick sprinkle in either ½ teaspoon cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon nutmeg or 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger. For a spicy kick add ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
3. Preheat oven to 375°F. Lightly grease a baking sheet.
4. For angel food cake croutons, spread cubed angel food cake on prepared baking sheet and bake until golden brown and crispy, flipping cubes halfway through, about 10 minutes.
Set aside to cool.
5. To make fruit salsa (optional): In a small bowl mix fruit with sugar, vinegar and lemon zest. Toss gently and let sit for about 30 minutes.
6. To assemble, divide soup into glass tea cups or small bowls. Place a dollop of sour cream on each one and scatter croutons around the top. Serve immediately.
Soup can be made three days ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator, or frozen for up to three months. Fruit salsa should be prepared just before serving.
Serves 6-8

For more great recipes, check out this weeks issue of Whisk by Ami