I only discovered rose-hips two years ago, My brother-in-law mentioned them as one of our rose bushes wasn't being pruned. My grandmother and I started harvesting them and turned it into a whole enterprise, cleaning them and prepping them. Rose-hips are the fruit of the rose which grows from the base of the bud after the flower becomes overblown - if it is not pruned. They grow wild as well as on domestic rose bushes and can be a treat along a walking trail. They are bright red when ripe and vary in size and shape, some being squat spheres, others being more ovaloid. Prepping them involves removing the seeds and small hairs attached to the seeds as these used to be used as itching powder - less than pleasant if left in food. Removing the seeds and hairs involves either turning the rose-hips into purée by soaking in boiling water then passing through a food mill or a sieve, or deseeding and drying. Both are a bit of work, the latter more so, but worth the effort I find.
On their own, rose-hips are quite tart, and are very high in vitamin C. I like the idea of using a food that we had harvested from our garden. More local and organic would be hard to find. It was also a fun time spent together, just the two of us harvesting and processing buckets of rose-hips. Some of these we made jam with and some we deseeded and dried (excellent in porridge with apple juice and cinnamon). Only last year did I start expanding what I used them in, both sweet and savoury, This was an experimental soup, no recipe, just taste test and tweak as needed.
600ml Rose-hip purée
3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 onion, roughly diced
1 knob of ginger, minced
3 carrots, roughly chopped
2 small-medium potatoes
A handful of spinach or Swiss chard or some such
1 tsp honey
2tsp olive oil
2 tsp chilli flakes - I used Turkish Urfa biber -Smoked chilli flakes.
A handful of fresh basil
Salt and pepper to taste
1) Heat oil in a small saucepan. When it starts to shimmer add onion, garlic and ginger. Stir them and cook until they start to crisp. The browned garlic, onion and ginger add a nice-counter balance to the tartness of the rose-hips.
2) Add the potato and carrot and stir for a minute before adding the rose-hip purée and water, then the rest of the ingredients. Be sure and taste test as perfect tart-sweet-heat balance for me may not be right for you. Salt and pepper to taste.
Serve with crusty bread and enjoy!
As an experiment this worked rather well. It was refreshing but flavourful, especially on a hot day, with mild heat and a well rounded flavour, hitting heat, tart and sweet notes.. We have soup most days for lunch and this provided a tasty variation to most soup bases. I hope you enjoy!