A few years ago, someone was telling me about the delicious cold watermelon soup they had enjoyed. I questioned cold soup, how strange, soup should be warm, I naively thought. After hearing about this soup, it was all I could think about and I started paying attention to all the cold soups out there. There's gazpacho, cucumber-lime, beet soup, iced arugula and the list goes on and on. Cold soups are refreshing and healthy and a comforting bowl of soup is always a winning dish, cold or hot.
Soon after images of cold soup occupied me, I was interviewing a guy about pizza pie. No, not pie, pizza square. Square pizza, again a little unusual. He went on to explain that people were reluctant to order the distinctive square pizza simply because of its shape.
Some say things happen in threes. The third strange food thing that happened to me around this time was with soup again. Someone served soup (this was hot soup) in a coffee cup and told me to drink it. Have you done that before? I never had and it was different without the comfort of a spoon. In an attempt to be open minded, I started weighing the cold soup appetizer as a whole.
Following my three signs and my appetizer quest, I decided to embark on my first cold soup, using blueberries as the main ingredient. Guess what? I love it, absolutely love it. It is full of healthy blueberries, spicy ginger and garnished with colorful mango cream, making it unique and gratifying.
Blueberries are classified as a super food. They are packed with antioxidants and high in manganese which encourages bone development. The vitamin C in blueberries helps maintain healthy gums and capillaries and forms collagen. A handful gives an adult their daily fiber requirements and helps to improve memory.
This flavorful soup sparkles with its bright, inviting color and is a refreshing, healthy start to any meal. I'll admit, at a summer party, I served this soup in clear cups and everyone (including the kids) drank it down. No spoon, no heat, cold blueberry soup is a tasty treat on a warm summer night.
Tracy Miller adds fruits and veggies to all her meals, for healthy recipes log onto Colorfulcooking.com. She teaches culinary classes at Colorado Mountain College in Edwards and shares original recipes on TV-8's Good Morning Vail.
Cold Blueberry Soup with Mango Cream
2 cups water
2 TBLS cornstarch
1/2 cup sugar
3 cups fresh blueberries
1/2 TEA cinnamon
1/2 TEA ginger
1/4 TEA salt
1 cup orange juice
1/2 cup sour cream or plain yogurt
1 mango, diced
1 TEA lemon juice
In a small bowl, mix 1/2 cup water and 2 TBLS of cornstarch until well blended.
In a medium, deep saucepan over med heat, add 1.5 cups water and bring to a boil.
Slowly whisk the cornstarch mixture into the boiling water until thick (about 30 seconds). Add sugar, blueberries and next 3 ingredients, mix well and simmer for 15 minutes, uncovered.
Remove from heat and stir in orange juice.
Place blueberry mixture into blender. Remove center of blender cover to allow air to release, cover the opening with a dish towel so it doesn't splatter. Blend well, you may have to blend in batches- be sure to blend it all. Pour into a clean bowl and cover.
Place in bowl in refrigerator to cool for 2+ hours.
Clean blender. Chop mango and place in blender with lemon juice and sour cream, mix well. Cool cream mixture and use as garnish on top of the soup.
Serves 4-6 as an appetizer.