Two years ago, I had the amazing opportunity to spend time in Budapest, Hungary, and one of the best things I ate while I was there was a cold strawberry soup.
Yes, cold fruit soup! It was thick, sweet, and creamy, which seems totally inappropriate for eating during a heat wave. Yet somehow it lifted my spirits and refreshed me. Not a bad way to end a meal, if you ask me!
I have a guess of how they made it (tons of pureed strawberries, sugar, and heavy cream) but for my own cooking, I opted to experiment with other fruits and to go for lighter recipes.
I chose peaches and mangoes, since they practically knocked me over with their sweet scent at the grocery store. After a little research on MyRecipes.com, I created my own version of peach soup (recipe below), and tried out the Tropical Melon Soup from the site, with a few tweaks.
The second best thing
about fruit soups is how easy they are to make. Peeling and chopping the fruit
is often the hardest thing you’ll do; then, you simply combine your ingredients
in a blender and press that magic button.
But the best part is eating that first spoonful after letting it chill for a while. Perfectly ripe fruit gives these soups a delicious, intense flavor base, and I really didn’t need to add any sweeteners.
Eating the peach soup was
like, well, slurping liquid peach! The cinnamon and ginger added a beautiful
spiciness. And when I say spicy, I don’t mean hot; this is a tingling in your
taste buds, wake up your mouth spicy.
Now, about that Tropical Melon Soup. I adore mangoes. The thought of slicing one up and smelling that beautiful, tangy-sweet juice makes me happy. So I knew I would really enjoy this mix of mango, cantaloupe, and coconut.
This was a much creamier soup, and sweeter than the peach because of the cream of coconut. I did deviate from the recipe by cutting half of the half-and-half and the cream of coconut and replacing them with light vanilla yogurt, but I think it’s still very good and not to sweet.
If you've never eaten fruit soup, you may wonder when it's appropriate to eat them. Most fruit soups are served as desserts, but it some countries they're also eaten as light suppers, and in other places as starters.
I paired the peach soup with my pasta salad lunch this week, and it was a zesty afternoon pick me up. The Tropical Melon Soup played sidekick to Mango Chicken Wraps for dinner, and it balanced well against the spicy marinade on the chicken.
So what do you think? Would you ever eat chilled fruit – or veggie—soups?
Click here to see recipes for cold soups.
Brianne’s Peach Soup
I made a small batch
because I was experimenting, but you can easily double the recipe. Start small
with the spices, and adjust until you reach the flavor you like, and add more
yogurt for a thicker soup.
2 large, ripe peaches; peeled and chopped
4 oz. low fat or light vanilla yogurt (usually half of a grocery brand container)
1/8 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp vanilla extract
Splash of lemon juice
1 tsp of honey (optional)
Combine all ingredients in a blender, and blend until smooth. Transfer to an air-tight container and chill for at least an hour.