Summer in a Bowl: Chilled Fruit Soup
By Susan Barocas
When I told my college-aged son that I was writing down the recipe for one of our summertime favorites, fruit soup, he asked why I needed a recipe. Just put every fruit you like in the food processor with more watermelon than anything else, he said. In truth, that is pretty much what I do. But for the sake of encouraging others to enjoy this refreshing taste of chilled summer goodness, I have created the recipe -- one that's much longer on instructions than ingredients.
The key to this soup is the watermelon base because of its water content and natural sweetness. It also gives the soup its great color. How much of what fruits you add beyond watermelon is completely up to your taste and even what fruits you have lying around. My favorites are honeydew melon and pineapple with a couple of peaches. Some people add banana, but to me, it gets bossy in the bowl and takes over the lovely light flavors of the other fruits.
I do avoid blending in any berries because straining out the seeds is too much work for me during summertime’s easy livin’. However, adding whole blueberries, raspberries or blackberries or a few slices of strawberries to individual bowls when serving bring color, texture, and pops of flavor to the party. You can also add a few ribbons of chopped mint before serving if you like.
Keep in mind that the measurements are approximate, and I always try to make extra because this is a leftover you want! Eat it as is for breakfast or lunch the next day or blend in a little yogurt, some protein powder and whatever else you like for a morning smoothie. Mix some in a glass with sparkling water for a refreshing drink, adding some vodka or rum to turn your fruit sparkler into an adult treat. And you can freeze the soup into popsicles for even more summer pleasure.
Makes 8 - 9 cups.
8 cups watermelon chunks, no seeds or rind (about ½ a medium melon)
6 cups other fruit, such as pineapple, melons, peaches, nectarines, and apricots, peeled, pitted, seeded, and cut into chunky pieces.
The easiest way to do this is to put all the cut up and measured fruit into a large bowl, then add in 4-5 reasonable batches to a food processor fit with the steel blade. Make sure each batch has at least half watermelon pieces going in. Process until the mixture seems smooth and then pulse several times to further break down any small pieces and pulp hiding in the bottom. Stir to hunt down any remaining lumps and process more if necessary. Put the processed mixture into it in a second large bowl and repeat until all the fruit is processed. Stir the mixture in the second bowl very well to blend. Taste to make sure you like the flavor, processing and adding fruit until it tastes just right to you.
Serve the soup very chilled, garnished with berries and/or mint.
Photo by Susan Barocas.