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by Caitlin Saniga

Chilled cherry soup

This sweet, cool cherry soup is great for breakfast, dessert or as a starter at dinner.

  • 2 pounds cherries, pitted
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch mixed with 2 teaspoons water
  • salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8  cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 4 dollops Greek yogurt
  • 4 sprigs mint for garnish

Combine the cherries in a medium saucepan with water barely to cover, 2 cups or less. Add the cornstarch, a pinch of salt and cinnamon. Turn the heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until the cherries are very soft, 10 to 15 minutes.

Add the sugar and lemon zest. Puree the mixture in a blender. Chill, then serve cold, with a dollop of yogurt and a mint sprig for each bowl.

Makes 4 servings.

Recipe adapted from: How to Cook Everything

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by Caitlin Saniga

This soup made me a believer in beets! And I think it could do the same for anyone! While beets provide some subtle undertones and a very vibrant color, they’re nicely balanced with a lot of other flavors: orange, garlic, toasty almond and rosemary. Sounds like an unlikely combination, I know. But it’s brilliant. Promise.

  • 7 medium beets, peeled and sliced thinly
  • 5 cloves garlic, peeled and trimmed
  • 1 spring rosemary
  • 1/2 quart heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 1/4 cup toasted almond slices
  • 1 orange, peeled and sliced thinly
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • rosemary sprigs, for garnish, optional

Place the beets in a pot withe garlic and rosemary. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the beets are tender, about 6 minutes.

Strain the beets and garlic and set aside the liquid. Discard the rosemary. Place the beets and garlic in a food processor and puree, adding the reserved liquid a little at a time until it is almost soup consistency. Add the cream, honey, vinegar and orange zest and pulse. Refrigerate for at least 1/2 hour before serving.

Serve chilled and garnish with toasted almonds, oranges, feta and rosemary sprigs.

Makes 4 servings.

Recipe adapted form: 202 Market recipe in The Roanoke Times

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by Caitlin Saniga

This is a chilled soup, so it’s best if all of the ingredients are refrigerated prior to assembly. I got creative with herbs here, using what I had in my garden. Parsley or dill would also work well in this arrangement. The only herb I’d say is a must is the cilantro. But the mint and basil I used added nice brightness and depth.

  • 4 cups + 1 cup chopped, seeded watermelon
  • 2 cups chopped, seeded tomatoes
  • 1 cup chopped red onion
  • 4 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro + sprigs for garnish
  • 1 tablespoon chopped mint + sprigs for garnish
  • 1 tablespoon chopped basil + sprigs for garnish
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 stick celery, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar (I used a peach white balsamic vinegar I picked up at a specialty oil and vinegar store.)
  • juice from 1 lime
  • 1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce

Place everything except the 1 cup of chopped watermelon and the herb sprigs in a food processor. Pulse until smooth.

Divide the gazpacho among four bowls, and top each serving with 1/4 cup chopped watermelon and a sprig each of cilantro, mint and basil.

Serve chilled immediately or store the gazpacho and toppings separately in the fridge for up to 1 hour before serving.

Makes 4 servings.

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