Cold soups fit the bill

The abundance of fresh, juicy Okanagan fruit can used in everything from desserts, to soups and salads

Here in the Okanagan we are blessed to have a plethora of amazingly fresh fruit in great abundance. Given this, we have the opportunity to use our fruit in so many ways other than just eating as is.

Most Prairie folk would never consider “wasting” these fruits in recipes like I offer today, but fruit salads and cold soups are perfect for summer and we have the abundance of fruit to easily put them together. The nice thing about the fruit salad is that you can increase or decrease the amount of fruit and you can vary the fruit according to family preferences. And what can I say about cold summer fresh fruit soups but that there are a huge variety to try and they’re refreshing and delicious.

Today’s recipe is perfect for any adult gathering, be it an afternoon tea or an evening dinner party. Give it a try, you’ll be surprised at the fresh delicious taste.

Summer

Fresh Fruit Salad

2 cups watermelon, seeded and cut into bite-size pieces

2 cups cantaloupe, cut into bite-size pieces

2 cups fresh pineapple chunks

2 cups strawberries, hulled and halved if large

2 cups fresh peaches — peeled, pitted and cut into bite-size pieces

1 cup seedless grapes

1 cup kiwi fruit, peeled and cut into bite-size pieces

1/4 cup cold water

1/4 cup frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed

1/4 cup frozen limeade concentrate, thawed

1/4 cup frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed

1 cup toasted pecans

12 lettuce leaves

In a large salad bowl, gently toss together the watermelon, cantaloupe, pineapple, strawberries, peaches, grapes and kiwi until thoroughly combined. Combine the water and orange juice, limeade and lemonade concentrates in a small bowl. Pour the dressing over the fruit salad. Gently toss, and sprinkle the salad with toasted pecans. Serve salad scooped on lettuce leaves.

Note: If you would like a fruit vinaigrette dressing, a raspberry walnut vinaigrette dressing would be very nice.

Chilled Peach Soup

1 cup dry white wine

1 cup peach schnapps

1/2 cup sugar

1 teaspoon chopped fresh mint leaves

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

2 cups half-and-half cream

10 fresh peaches, sliced

Vanilla yogurt, optional

Place white wine, peach schnapps, sugar, mint leaves, cinnamon, nutmeg, and half-and-half together in a bowl, and stir until well-blended and sugar is dissolved. Add sliced peaches, and transfer to a saucepan.

Cook over medium heat for 15 minutes, stirring frequently, and reducing heat if necessary to prevent scorching cream. Remove from heat when peaches are tender. Cool to a safe temperature for blending. Process in a blender or food processor until completely smooth. Cover, and refrigerate until ready to serve. Serve chilled. This is nice served with a dollop of vanilla yogurt.

Cathi Litzenberger is The Morning Star’s longtime food columnist, appearing every other Wednesday and one Sunday per month.