- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 15, 2003

When the weather’s stuck in the ponderously slow, hot days of summer, nothing much relieves the heat like a bowl of something frosty.

The concept of fruit soup breaks with tradition, since soup is generally thought of as savory and hot — something to warm winter bones. We can thank the Scandinavians for the brilliant idea of pureed fresh cantaloupe, honeydew, peaches and raspberries, sometimes laced with liqueur or yogurt and always eaten in icy spoonfuls.

Most fruit soups are perfect for entertaining in the heat of summer. You can have something grilling for later and tempt the crowd early on with icy mugs of honeydew cream soup, strawberry and peach soup or apricot jewel soup.

The recipes that follow can be whipped up ahead of time and will keep overnight in a tightly covered container in the fridge.

Ripe melon is the star ingredient in the pale green honeydew soup that follows. Expert melon testers say that perfectly ripe melon smells heavenly from the outside before cutting. The musky smell should be delightfully sweet, not yet the fermented odor of overripe.

Honeydew cream soup

3 cups peeled, seeded and diced honeydew melon

Juice from 1 large lime

cantaloupe, peeled, seeded and diced

2 tablespoons honey or more to taste

Dash of freshly ground nutmeg

cup nonfat plain yogurt, optional

Puree honeydew, lime juice, cantaloupe, honey, nutmeg and yogurt in blender or food processor until smooth. Taste for sweetness and, if needed, add more honey. Chill 1 hour, then serve. Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Strawberry and peach soup

This soup is romantic enough to serve for an anniversary dinner or a wedding brunch. It’s creamy pink and delightfully sweet.

1 cup sliced fresh strawberries

3/4 cup peeled, pitted and sliced fresh peaches

1 cup unsweetened apple juice

teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons honey

2 tablespoons nonfat plain yogurt, optional

Puree strawberries, peaches, apple juice, 1 cup water, nutmeg, lemon juice, honey and yogurt in blender or food processor until smooth.

Taste for sweetness and, if needed, add more honey. Chill 1 hour, then serve. Makes 2 to 4 servings.

Apricot jewel soup

Scout out some perfectly ripe, fresh apricots for this recipe. It’s elegant garnished with grated lime peel.

3 cups pitted and chopped fresh apricots

cup honey or low-sugar apricot jam

2 cups nonfat plain yogurt

2 cups unsweetened apple juice

Grated lime peel for garnish, optional

Puree apricots, honey or jam, yogurt and apple juice in blender or food processor until smooth. Taste for sweetness and, if needed, add more honey or jam.

Chill 1 hour, then serve garnished with lime peel, if desired. Makes 6 servings.

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