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1. In a blender or food processor combine strawberries and the 1/2 cup sugar. Cover and blend or process until smooth; set aside.
2. In a small saucepan combine the water and masa harina. Whisk until well mixed; strain mixture through a fine-mesh sieve. Return strained mixture to the saucepan. Cook and stir over medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes or until thickened.
3. Reduce heat to low; stir in buttermilk, the 3/4 cup sugar, vanilla bean, cinnamon stick, and pureed strawberries. Cook for 5 minutes more. If necessary, thin soup with milk (the mixture should be thick, but pourable).
4. Cover and chill for 1 to 2 hours. Before serving, remove vanilla bean and cinnamon stick; scrape bean and return seeds to syrup.
5. Divide soup among six small dessert bowls. Garnish with sweetened whipped cream and fresh mint.