The Recipes: Two recipes today, both really show off summer's best fruits.
First, an unusual savory-sweet soup I call "Fruity Gazpacho" that's good as an appetizer, an entrée, even a dessert. It mixes fruits and vegetables and is positively fresh and delicious. Next, a light and summery fruit salad, sweetened with no more than a little sugar and fresh mint.
The Story: How I became a seasonal cook, way back when.
Blame the gazpacho.
Yes, it was a bowl of tomato-y, onion-y, pepper-y soup that heaved my culinary style into the camp called seasonal fare.
Setting: A basement meeting room in a downtown hotel in Kansas City.
Time: November, not the unseasonably warm and sunny golden days that Missourians love but an unseasonably wet and bone-chilling day that Missourians dread.
By noon, the group was shivering and starved, happy to move just to generate heat, better yet to hunt up lunch in the next room.
Waiting there were big bowls of soup. “Ohhhh,” we thought. “Something warm!” But instead the soup was cold, spicy gazpacho, a summer specialty. Not a spoonful was eaten.
So make it hot soup in November. But on a steamy summer day, cold soup is refreshing and soothing. This is a new-this-summer favorite shared by a Webster Groves reader who reports that her young sons eat it up.
It’s savory enough for a starter, hearty enough for a main dish and sweet enough for a dessert – really!
READER RECIPE: FRUITY GAZPACHO
Makes 5 cups
- 1/2 a honeydew melon, skin washed well before cutting, cut into large pieces
- 2 cups green grapes
- 1/2 a cucumber, preferably English, peeled and seeded if not
- 1/2 a green pepper
- 1/2 an avocado
- 1 jalapeño, seeds & membrane removed
- Zest & juice (about 1 tablespoon) of a lime
- 2 tablespoons Italian parsley
- For garnish, quartered grapes and diced cucumber, pepper and avocado or lime slices, optional
Mix all the ingredients in a food processor (see TIPS) until smooth. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve.
SUMMER FRUIT SALAD
- Blackberries or cherries
- Green grapes
- Peaches, chopped
- Other fresh fruit, to taste
- 1/4 cup packed fresh mint
- 3 tablespoons sugar
Gently combine the fruit. Whiz the mint and sugar in a food processor and sprinkle over the fruit.
At its peak, summer fruit requires no adornment. Summer Fruit Salad is sweetened with no more than a little sugar and fresh mint. Here's the recipe, Summer Fruit Salad.
More Cold Soups for Summer
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