I unearthed an old cookbook from my shelves while doing some recent spring cleaning, and among the dated photos and unoriginal cheese-nut-pear salads, I found an interesting recipe that I think will be just perfect for the warmer months to come. (Pop quiz: Can you guess when this was published? I was off by two decades—the fussy food styling threw me.) This chilled soup blends pears with spices and lime juice for a refreshing summer starter.
Chilled Lime-Scented Pear Soup
The delicate essence of pears, accented by a whisper of fresh lime juice, is unmistakable in this silky smooth soup. For a refreshing hot-weather lunch, serve the soup in chilled bowls accompanied by a mixed green salad and bread sticks.
1 cup dry white wine
1 cup dry vermouth
1 cup apple-pear juice
5 small ripe pears (preferably Taylor’s Gold or Anjou), peeled, cored and coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon ground green peppercorns
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
Finely minced zest from 1 lime, plus additional zest, for garnish
Pinch of salt
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
In a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan, place the wine, vermouth, apple-pear juice, pears, spices and lime zest. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring frequently. Reduce the heat to medium and cook 10 minutes, or until the pears are tender. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature.
Using a blender, puree the mixture in batches until smooth. Add the salt and lime juice and mix well. Transfer to a nonreactive container and cover tightly. Refrigerate until thoroughly chilled. Serve in chilled bowls, garnished with lime zest.
yield: Serves 4 to 6