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Slice of Life

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Fruit soups perfect to beat the heat

Every year around this time I start getting calls for cold soups.

Could be the 100-plus temperatures we’re getting, or the plethora of melons and berries that are so cheap it’s almost a crime not to buy them, or even just because it’s summer and getting creative with food is what we do.

Who cares what the reason is; I just want to share some of my favorite, make it right now fruit soup recipes so that you can join me in one more way we have to beat the heat.

Strawberry Soup

This is my all-time favorite strawberry soup recipe.

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1 to 2 cups apple juice

1 (10-ounce) package frozen sliced strawberries, in syrup

2 cups sliced fresh strawberries

2 to 2 1/2 cups whipped topping, whipped

2 to 3 tablespoons sweet white wine

A mixture of matchstick slices of cantaloupe and honeydew (you can use mango, too, but don’t use watermelon)

In a bowl, whisk together the apple juice and cornstarch. In a saucepan, boil the strawberries in syrup, strawberries and the apple juice mixture together for about 2 to 3 minutes or just until the liquid starts to thicken; remove it from the heat and let it cool to room temperature. Whisk in the whipped topping and then add the wine to make it a thick consistency. Chill the soup for a couple of hours. If it’s still too thick, you can thin it with apple juice or wine, but don’t use too much wine.

You can also add more whipped topping if it’s too thin. This should be thicker than most cream soups but not as thick as a mousse dessert. You can double or triple this recipe but always add a little less whipped topping than the recipe calls for. You can also add a little more strawberries to the original mixture if you like a really strong strawberry taste.

Mix about 1 tablespoon of the melon slices in each bowl just before you serve it. You can garnish the top with a strawberry and mint sprigs. Serves 6 to 8.

Honeydew You Love Me Soup

Note: The melon should be chilled before you use it.

1 large ripe honeydew melon, cut into pieces

1 cup sweet white wine

1 tablespoon honey

Juice of 1 lime

Whipping cream for garnish

Put the melon, wine, honey and lime juice into a food processor and process until smooth. Pour the soup into individual soup bowls and drizzle a little of the whipping cream over the top to garnish.

Cream and Spicy Peach Soup

3 ripe medium peaches (unpeeled), coarsely chopped

1/2 cup plain or vanilla yogurt

3 tablespoons honey, divided

2 tablespoons half-and-half, cream or milk

1 tablespoon lime juice

1/4 teaspoon grated fresh ginger

1 tablespoon finely snipped fresh basil

1/2 cup whipping cream

1 teaspoon rum

Fresh peach slices

In the bowl of a food processor or blender combine the peaches, yogurt, 2 tablespoons of honey, half and half, lime juice and ginger. Process until smooth. Pour the soup into a container with a lid and stir in the basil.

Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 to 3 hours so the basil flavor will meld with the peach.

Just before serving, whip the 1/2 cup whipping cream to soft peaks; add the 1 tablespoon of honey and rum and whip just to combine.

When serving, ladle the soup into a bowl and place a dollop of whipped cream and peach slices on top. Serves 4. This recipe can be doubled.

– Modified from About.com Slice of Life is a food column that offers recipes, cooking advice and information on new food products. It appears Sundays. If you have a question about cooking or a food item, contact Eileen Goltz at eztlog@gmail.com or write The Journal Gazette, 600 W. Main St., Fort Wayne, IN 46802.

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