When it is so hot that no food really appeals, fruit soups will always awaken a flagging appetite—especially if there are a few bottles of Muscat or Alsatian Riesling in an ice bucket nearby.
Mix the ricotta,
Bring a pot of water to the boil and prepare an ice bath.
Put the nectarines or peaches in the boiling water for 10 seconds, then lift them out with a slotted spoon and put them in the ice bath.
The moment the fruit is cool enough to handle, peel, pit, and chop it. Reserve the ice bath. Put the nectarine pieces in a nonreactive steel saucepan and add
Taste the fruit puree for salt, add the remaining wine, and serve it in chilled, shallow soup plates with a dollop of the spiced ricotta in the center and the flowers sprinkled on top.
I like the combinations of watermelon and raspberry (heat together 5 minutes, sieve, chill, and serve with basil cream); also plum and raspberry; or strawberry with red currants. And if you ever see cloudberries, or brook cloudberries, run, don’t walk, to the cash register with all of them. They are the noblest of all berries, and are found in British Columbia and northern Europe. And for a greater visual impact with this soup, use two or three kinds of melons, pureed separately and put separately on the plate to produce two or three colors.
© 2002 Jeremiah Tower. All rights reserved.