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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Chilled Fruit Soups Cool Off Our Not-So-Hot Summer

Posted By on Tue, Jul 31, 2012 at 2:30 PM

click to enlarge RN74's peach gazpacho. - TAMARA PALMER
  • Tamara Palmer
  • RN74's peach gazpacho.

"The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco," Mark Twain famously said. And while global warming has definitely hooked us up with some warmer summer temperatures over the years since his proclamation, we don't expect to see any real Fahrenheit action until the fall. Despite the lack of triple-digit temperatures, though, we've noticed that local chefs are still playing around with chilled fruit soups right now.

Stone fruits are at their most glorious at the moment, and two San Francisco restaurants are playing up the peach in particular for a fruity version of gazpacho. RN74 chef Jason Berthold currently offers a white peach gazpacho enhanced with marinated scallops, toasted almonds, nasturtium, and hibiscus, little treasures that disappear from sight when the soup is poured tableside. Over at One Market, chef Mark Dommen also uses seafood in his yellow peach gazpacho, though in his case it's rock shrimp with macadamia nuts and basil.

On the quick-service end, San Francisco Soup Company has a chilled Thai cucumber honeydew soup in its seasonal rotation. It's got a coconut milk base that's infused with lime and mint and a dash of Sriracha chili sauce.

Kenny Hockert's Old World Food Truck and his Jewish pop-up dinners at La Victoria Bakery aim to bring popular Eastern European traditions to California. One of the seasonal offerings that rotate through his menu is the Polish zupa truskawkowy, a chilled strawberry soup topped with sour cream and mint.

What's interesting about all of these soups is that they're all served as savory courses rather than dessert. Have you spotted chilled fruit soup on a local menu? Please tell us about it in the comments.

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Tamara Palmer

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