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First, to clear things up, blåbärssoppa is technically made with bliberries. Bilberries, sometimes known as European blueberries, are the berries that Swedes call blåbär, which translates directly to blueberry. But blueberries that we find in the United States are not the same. I know. It’s all very confusing. The blåbär that you find in Sweden are a little bit smaller than in the United States, they’re found out in the forests on low-lying bushes, they’re kind of reddish on the inside, a little tart, and they will, without a doubt, stain your clothes and just about anything else they touch.
Blåbärssoppa is one of those foods that is often associated with traditional Swedish cuisine. It’s a versatile soup—you can eat it warm in the winter and cold in the summer. You can eat it like soup or drink it. You can buy it in powdered form from the grocery store (just add water!), or liquid form. Or you can make it yourself. It’s especially popular at Vasaloppet, where it has been served for years to folks who try to finish the 90-kilometer cross-country ski race. There’s one brand of blåbärssoppa in particular that has been served at Vasaloppet—Ekströms. According to their website, they’ve been serving up warm soup to skiers since 1958 and that about 50,000 liters of the stuff gets consumed. That’s more than 13,000 gallons. Of smushed blueberries.
It’s an especially popular choice for kids, but don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t eat it as you get older. You’re an adult. You do what you want. Especially if you’re not feeling hot, blåbärssoppa is said to have medicinal benefits, like curing an upset stomach.
With Vasaloppet coming up, you might want to try making your own blåbärssoppa. Luckily, it’s not at all difficult and it will give you a good chance to work on your Swedish if you use a Swedish recipe. Allt om mat has a wonderful option that will only take you about ten minutes to make: Blåbärssoppa.
The recipe from Allt om mat is a little different than the one below, but generally you’ll need the following:
Boil the water, berries, and sugar for a few minutes. If you want it a little thinner, use more water. A little thicker? Less water. Taste it. You’re in charge of how sweet you make it. Then, in a separate cup, mix the potato flour with just a bit of water. Slowly add your mix of potato flour and water to your pot until you get it to the desired consistency. Remember, you can make it more drink-able or more eat-able. Mix it all together and you’re ready to eat it warm. Or let it cool down in the fridge and eat it cold.