Combine the strawberries, sugar, lemon juice and 2 tablespoons water in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the berries break down, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat; stir in the vanilla.
Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl, pressing against the solids; let cool completely. To store, cover and refrigerate up to 4 days.
Photograph by Levi Brown
Recipe courtesy of Food Network Magazine