If you’re looking for an easy dessert that uses mostly fruit, then you’ve hit the jackpot when you make a fruit soup.
Fruit soups are made of fruit (preferably fresh) that have been pureed to a soup-like consistency, and depending on the kind of soup you like, you can make it thin, thick or even chunky by adding some chopped fruit just before serving. While fruit soups can be served at room temperature or cold, I personally prefer mine cold, especially when serving it as dessert. It is more refreshing that way.
Almost all fruits can be made into fruit soups. You can choose to make the soup with only one fruit or a combination of fruits. There are certain fruits that lend themselves naturally to soup by being thick and creamy. For example, bananas, pawpaw (papaya), pears (avocado) and soursop add excellent flavour and body to fruit soups. In addition to the pulp or flesh of the fruit, other ingredients such as yogurt, sour cream, milk and cream can be added to fruit soups. If you are watching your sugar intake, then this is a good low-calorie dish, however, it is usual for sugar or simple syrup to be added to the mixture. Remember, this is after all, a dessert.
Instead of adding the sugar straight, I would suggest making a simple syrup (equal parts sugar and water brought to a boil for 1 minute and then cooled). The benefits of using simple syrup are two-fold: the syrup will quickly mix with the cold fruit and iced water or cold dairy. Secondly, the syrup is easy to infuse with spices or herbs that will ultimately flavour the soup. Oh, how could I forget to mention this – a lot of fruit soups made for dessert usually have a bit of alcohol such as rum or liqueur.
Experiment with your mint garnishes too. Don’t just use spearmint or peppermint; find other varieties to enhance the aroma of your fruit soups. In this recipe, I used chocolate mint. In addition to simply adding sprigs of the mint, the leaves can be based with white sugar and sprinkled on top of the soup.
Here are some fruits that are ideal for fruit soups (in addition to the ones mentioned earlier) – guavas, ripe mangoes, cantaloupe, watermelon, sugar apple, pineapple, sapodilla, all types of berries – black, blue, strawberry etc. The heavily water-based fruits like watermelon can be ‘stabilized’ as soups by combining them with a more creamy like fruit such as pawpaw, bananas or pears. Not a lot, just enough to thicken the mixture.
This fruit soup is made of ripe pawpaw, sweetened with homemade orange syrup and topped with some homemade passion fruit preserve and garnished with chocolate mint.
Here’s how I made it.
- 6 cups of chopped ripe pawpaw
- 1 ½ cups iced water
- Orange syrup to taste
- Passion fruit preserve
- Cholocate mint
- Add the pawpaw and water to a blender and blend until smooth. Add syrup to taste and blend to mix well.
- Cover the blender jug and refrigerate until cold or pour into a jug and refrigerate until very cold and ready to serve.
- Pour into bowls or dessert cups, top with preserve, garnish with mint and serve immediately.
- Give yourself a head start by chopping and chilling the fruits in containers so you can make the soup at a moment’s notice.
- The soup is an excellent make ahead. Make it the day before you plan to serve it. Give it a good stir before pouring, topping and garnishing.