Fruit Soups

By Jacqueline Dunnington

The word fruit comes from the Latin fructus, meaning "enjoyment." The word soup speaks for itself as a liquid food that often contains solids, such as vegetables and fruits. Using fruit as a basic soup ingredient opens new door to a realm of tasty and healthy treats. These recipes, gathered from around the globe, await your added creative touch, including the use of alternate fruits of choice.

Tomato-Pineapple Gaspacho

(Serves 4)

A delight from Andalusia, in the south of Spain. Very easy to prepare!

  • ¾ cup non-citrus fruit juice of choice
  • ¾ cup tomato juice
  • 1 cup crushed tomatoes
  • ¾ cup crushed pineapple
  • 1-½ Tablespoons lime pulp
  • ⅓ cup very finely slivered green bell peppers
  • ⅓ cup very finely slivered red bell peppers
  • 2 Tablespoons white wine or vinegar
  • Salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste
  • 2 Tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
  • Whole wheat croutons (optional)

Mix all ingredients except the cilantro and croutons in a glass bowl. Cover and chill 4-5 hours. Garnish with cilantro and serve chilled in bowls. Croutons can also be used as a garnish.

Total calories per serving: 68 Fat: <1 gram
Carbohydrates: 15 grams Protein: 1 gram
Sodium: 133 milligrams Fiber: 2 grams

Spicy Orange and Bean Chowder

(Serves 4)

When oranges and beans swim into your soup bowl, the results will tease your tongue.

  • 1 cup finely chopped yellow or red onions
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup vegetable broth (a bit more, if desired)
  • 2 cups canned or cooked black, kidney, navy, or pinto beans, well drained
  • ½ teaspoon dried basil
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon dried rosemary
  • Salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
  • 2 teaspoons dried orange peel
  • ½ cup fresh orange pulp
  • ½ cup orange or apple juice
  • ½ cup cooked brown rice (optional)

In a deep pot, sauté onions and garlic in oil until slightly brown. Remove from heat and add broth and beans. Stir in seasonings, along with orange pulp and juice, and return to stovetop. Simmer slowly at least 20 minutes. Add rice if desired and serve piping hot with whole wheat bread sticks.

Total calories per serving: 254 Fat: 11 grams
Carbohydrates: 32 grams Protein: 9 grams
Sodium: 118 milligrams Fiber: 9 grams

Indonesian Onion-Coconut Potage

(Serves 5)

This east-west soup is light and hearty at the same time.

  • 4 cups vegetable broth (or more if thin soup is desired)
  • 2 yellow onions, peeled and grated
  • ¼ cup lime pulp
  • ½ cup slivered carrots
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  • 2-3 Tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 cup cooked brown rice
  • 4 heaping Tablespoons freshly shredded coconut

Bring broth to simmering point in a deep soup pot. Slowly mix in remaining ingredients except rice and coconut. Simmer 12-20 minutes or until onions and carrots are tender. Place equal amounts of hot rice in soup bowls. Pour equal amounts of soup over rice. Garnish with coconut before serving.

Total calories per serving: 111 Fat: 2 grams
Carbohydrates: 22 grams Protein: 3 grams
Sodium: 589 milligrams Fiber: 3 grams

Norwegian Fruit Soup

(Serves 5)

Viking vitality hides in this delightful blend of flavors from Norway.

  • 5 cups water, divided
  • ⅓ cup coarsely chopped dried apples or pears
  • ⅓ cup coarsely chopped pitted prunes
  • ⅓ cup coarsely chopped dried apricots
  • ¼ cup dried currants
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon pulp
  • ¼ cup apple butter
  • ½ cup dry sherry or apple juice
  • 1 heaping teaspoon whole cloves with 1 stick cinnamon in a spice bag
  • ¼ cup crushed walnuts (or nuts of choice)

Bring 2 cups water to a slow boil in a deep soup pot. Add all dried fruits and lemon pulp. Cover and set aside about two hours until fruits are soft. Return pot to low heat and add apple butter, 3 cups water, sherry or juice, and spice bag. Simmer 30 minutes, then discard spice bag. At this point you may purée the soup or leave it chunk-style. Add a bit of hot water if a thinner soup is desired. Garnish with crushed nuts of choice and serve hot.

Total calories per serving: 171 Fat: 4 grams
Carbohydrates: 30 grams Protein: 4 grams
Sodium: 13 milligrams Fiber: 3 grams

Fiesta Fantasy Soup

(Serves 4)

A dessert soup to celebrate!

  • 1 cup raspberries (or berries of choice)
  • 1 cup cantaloupe or mango balls
  • 1 cup seedless green grapes, cut in halves
  • 1 cup orange segments, seeded
  • ¼ cup rice syrup (or more to suit your taste)
  • ½ cup lemon or grapefruit juice
  • ½ cup freshly grated coconut

Combine all ingredients except coconut in a ceramic or glass bowl. Stir slowly until thoroughly mixed. Cover the bowl and chill in a refrigerator for two hours, stirring at least twice during chilling period. Serve cold, garnished with coconut.

Total calories per serving: 173 Fat: 4 grams
Carbohydrates: 37 grams Protein: 2 grams
Sodium: 32 milligrams Fiber: 5 grams

Byzantine Apricot-Lentil Soup

(Serves 5)

Byzantium, the source of great artistic treasures that gave way to the modern-day city of Istanbul, also gave us this marvelous tasty treasure.

  • ½ cup uncooked brown lentils
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 medium yellow onion, slivered
  • ½ cup coarsely chopped dried apricots
  • 1 large red potato, chopped in ¼" cubes
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon or lime pulp
  • 1 large pinch dried rosemary, crumbled
  • Salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste

In a deep pot, bring lentils and vegetable broth to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered 10-15 minutes or until lentils slightly soften. Add all other ingredients and simmer until lentils and potatoes are soft. Serve soup chunk-style or purée in a blender. Serve hot with whole wheat Middle Eastern bread. This soup keeps well in a refrigerator up to 3 days.

Total calories per serving: 167 Fat: <1 gram
Carbohydrates: 35 grams Protein: 8 grams
Sodium: 371 milligrams Fiber: 8 grams

Jacqueline Dunnington is a frequent contributor to the Vegetarian Journal.