Photo by Alexandra Grablewski
My mint plants are still running amok. Was thinking about crystallizing some and this Fruit Gazpacho came to mind. This is a great warm weather soup, with or without the crystallized mint! This dessert is a takeoff on the classic tomato-based chilled soup. Instead of the traditional additions of cucumbers, bell peppers, and onions, here you will find tropical fruits and berries in colors ranging from purple to red to orange to yellow to green. The colors burst forth and beckon you to dig into this clean, crisp, refreshing dessert. The trick with this recipe is to have a very consistent size of dice for all the cut fruit. The refrigeration period is necessary for the flavors to meld. You can serve this in wide, shallow soup bowls, but I also like to present this in tall iced tea glasses, or even goblets accompanied with a long-handled spoon. If you want to add a little something extra, consider a scoop of the vanilla ice cream or mango sorbet.
- 1¼ cups small to medium fresh blueberries
- 1 cup crushed canned pineapple (not drained)
- 1 cup diced fresh strawberries
- 2 ripe green kiwi, peeled and diced
- 2 small or 1 large dead- ripe mango, peeled and diced
- 1 ripe strawberry papaya, peeled, and diced, and; seeds reserved
- ½ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
- 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon very finely chopped fresh mint
- Crystallized mint leaves, optional
- Gently toss all of the fruit together in a mixing bowl. Add the juices and mint (to taste) and fold gently into the fruit. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours, or up to 6 hours. Divide betweenin 6 soup bowls or glasses. Top each with a spring of crystallized mint, if using, and serve immediately.
- Mint sprigs as omnipresent garnish are a pet peeve of mine, except where mint is integral to the recipe, as it is here. Please consider garnish options that are related to the recipe. If your lemon dessert seems to need something to gussy it up, consider some candied lemon peel or a shower of lemon zest. If your cake features chocolate, chocolate curls or shards would be perfect; you get the idea.
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