Cooling soups are the perfect fit for a summer meal. The fruit versions also make for a sweet yet healthy dessert when you are desperate for something different. Karen Schneider / For The Forecaster

Recently, I whirled up all three of these fruit soups in my blender in less than an hour, poured them into Mason jars and put them into the fridge to chill. (The strawberry wine soup can also be frozen right in the jar or even made into popsicles!)

Karen Schneider cooks and writes in the village of Cundy’s Harbor. You can reach her at

For those among you who are skeptics, you must try these chilled bowls of deliciousness while the stores and farmers markets are bursting with fresh produce.

To make the Cucumber-Avocado Soup, pick up some buttermilk from a farm stand if you can find it. This ingredient adds such a lively tang, and besides, you’ll need it to make the crème fraiche that goes exceedingly well with these light, cooling soups.

Of course, you can buy crème fraiche, but try making it yourself. It’s useful in so many ways and you’ll feel like you’ve accomplished something magnificent with very little effort.

I want to add that Cucumber-Avocado Soup complements a green, crispy salad quite nicely, plays well with sushi and is lovely served up with a luncheon seafood-filled croissant – a truly elegant pairing. I recently enjoyed a bowl of this creamy pale green elixir with a BLT and found it to be a match I’ll choose again.

Strawberry Wine Soup is luscious and even tastes “rich,” although it really isn’t. It can be served in sweet little decorative cups at parties along with other hors d’oeuvres or be an unexpected treat at a dessert buffet.


Three Melon Soup works well as a first course, especially when I add chopped cucumber as a garnish. It’s just the thing to tease the palate and is so refreshing.

Now whoever thought you could cool off with soup?

Cucumber-Avocado Soup

1 European cucumber, peeled and chopped
2 ripe avocados, peeled and chopped
2 1/2 cups fresh buttermilk
3 tablespoons red onion, diced
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
3 fresh basil leaves, plus extra for garnish
Salt and pepper to taste
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved, for garnish
Crème fraiche or sour cream for garnish

In a food processor or blender, combine all ingredients except garnishes. Blend until smooth then cover and refrigerate for several hours. Serve in bowls topped with julienned basil leaves, tomatoes and a dollop of crème fraiche or sour cream. Yield: 4 servings

Strawberry Wine Soup

2 1/2 cups fresh strawberries, stemmed and sliced, plus 4 whole berries for garnish
6 tablespoons sugar
1 cup water
1 tablespoon corn starch
1 tablespoon cold water
1 cup dry white wine
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
Crème fraiche or sour cream for garnish

In a saucepan over medium heat, combine strawberries, sugar and water. Simmer uncovered until berries are soft, 5-10 minutes. In a small cup, blend corn starch with cold water. Increase heat to medium-high. Add cornstarch mixture to berries and stir until mixture bubbles and is clear. Cool slightly, then puree in a food processor or blender. Place in a container and add wine and lemon zest. Cover and chill for several hours. Serve in small bowls garnished with whole berries and topped with crème fraiche or sour cream. Yield: 4 servings


Crème Fraiche

1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons buttermilk

Place ingredients in a glass jar and gently shake. Cover and let stand at room temperature until thick, 8-24 hours. Stir well. This can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 10 days. Yield: 1 cup

Three Melon Soup

4 cups seedless watermelon, chopped
Juice of 1 lime
2 large, fresh mint leaves, julienned, plus 4 more for garnish
2 tablespoons honey
1/4 cup dry red wine or unsweetened cranberry juice
1/2 cup cantaloupe, finely diced
1/2 cup honeydew melon, finely diced

In a food processor or blender, place 3 cups of the watermelon chunks, lime juice, julienned mint leaves and honey. Puree until smooth, then pour into a large container. Stir in wine and finely dice remaining watermelon chunks. Add to soup along with diced cantaloupe and honeydew melon. Cover and chill for several hours. To serve, ladle into small bowls or glassware and garnish with mint leaves. Yield: 4 servings

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