Chilled Fruit Soup with Berries from Dana Jacobi and the AICR

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In its ongoing effort to promote healthy, cancer-preventive lifestyle choices, the American Institute for Cancer Research teams up with renowned food blogger Dana Jacobi every other week to offer nutritious and delicious dishes. This week's entry is a chilled fruit soup with berries.

Dana Jacobi writes,

Cool and refreshing, fruit soup sounds so appealing. But in the bowl, most fruit soups turn out to be too sweet, too thin, or – when made with a wine base – too boozy.

Dining at a neighbor’s, I discovered this velvety version. A purée with body, it is just right, especially now, when local melons are full of sunny flavor. The recipe includes grapes, strawberries and apples, too. Sounds like a fruit bowl, but together, this quartet, sharpened with a splash of lemon, creates a taste that is appealingly tropical. Describing it, pineapple comes to mind – a nice surprise given the soup’s pink-peach color.

When I asked Ann for her recipe, she pulled from her kitchen bookshelf the volume Middle Eastern Cooking from the classic Time-Life Foods of the World series published in the 1960s. Its editors label this soup as an Israeli dish, a surprise to me, although it does not seem Middle Eastern or even particularly Mediterranean. Some explanation would be nice, but the recipe is all you get. Since the recipe makes even more than the 8-12 servings indicated, I have pared it down to serve six. To keep it a quickly prepared dish, I buy cubed melon and frozen strawberries. Along with saving work, the frozen berries cost less and I prefer applying the difference toward fresh raspberries and blueberries to garnish the soup and add textural contrast.

This soup keeps for a few days, though it probably will not last that long since it can also be sipped like a light smoothie. It usually separates, but do not be concerned – shaking the soup in a jar or whisking it vigorously quickly brings it back together.

All recipes offered by the AICR have been vetted and approved by a registered dietitian (RD).

Chilled Fruit Soup with Berries

  • 2½ cups diced ripe cantaloupe, about ½ melon
  • 2 Braeburn or Gala apples, peeled, cored and diced
  • 1 cup green grapes
  • ½ lb. strawberries, halved, or ½ of 10 oz. package frozen strawberries
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries, for garnish
  • 1 cup fresh raspberries, for garnish
  • 12 mint leaves, cut crosswise into thin strips for garnish

Instructions

In large saucepan, combine melon, apples, grapes, strawberries, sugar and lemon juice. Add water. Bring to boil over medium-high heat. Cover, reduce heat and simmer until fruit is very soft, 12-15 minutes. Uncover and set aside to cool for 15 minutes.

Transfer contents of pot to blender. Wrap dishtowel around top of blender. Firmly pressing down blender lid, whirl soup until smooth. It will look creamy. Doing this in 2 batches might be necessary.

Pour soup into 1 large or 2 medium jars and let sit at room temperature until lukewarm. Refrigerate soup until well chilled, 6 hours to overnight. Just before serving, shake jar vigorously.

Divide soup among 6 wide, shallow bowls. For garnish, divide blueberries, raspberries and mint among the bowls. Serve immediately.

Makes 6 servings.

Per serving: 140 calories, 0.5 g total fat (0 g saturated fat), 36 g carbohydrate, 2 g protein, 5 g dietary fiber, 15 mg sodium.

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