One long ago hot summer day, Andrew invited me to partake in a bowl of chlodnik made from his mother's recipe. Chlodnik is a Polish chilled soup made from barszcz (the Polish version of beet soup). I found it quite delicious and refreshing. My mother rolled her eyes when I told her about the soup. Cold soup was not (and never was) something she was even interested in trying. My second cold soup was one made with buttermilk, cucumbers and dill at a Polish restaurant in London. It, too, was very good. From those chilled beginnings, I graduated to gazpacho--a liquid salad that we enjoy all summer.
I had never tried a chilled fruit soup until I found this recipe in the Chicago Tribune some summers ago. Is it a main course or a dessert? It is delicious whatever part of the meal it is offered in. When, as now, blueberries are in the market, this is on our table. I hope you will give it a try.
2 1/2 pints fresh blueberries
1 3/4 cups cold water
1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
3/4 cup dry red wine
1/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons grated orange zest
Whipped cream, optional
Place two pints of the blueberries, water, orange juice, wine, sugar and zest in a medium saucepan over medium heat; heat to a boil. Lower heat to a simmer; cook stirring occasionally until blueberries break down, about 7 to 8 minutes. Remove from heat; puree in a food processor. Refrigerate at least two hours.
Divide soup among 8 bowls; divide the remaining 1/2 cup of the blueberries among the bowls. Top each with whipped cream if desired.