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Cool Mixed Berry Soup

Cool Mixed Berry Soup
T. Susan Chang for NPR /

This is what my 2-year-old daughter calls "pink soup." Cold berry soups are often made with orange juice, but I prefer cranberry for color and tartness. Naturally sweetened cranberry juice tends to be less toothache-sweet than the high-fructose corn syrup variety. Choose red fruit for a brilliant rosy color, or add blueberries if you like it more purply. This is the soup version of a smoothie, so it's not terribly filling. But it really hits the spot when it's beastly hot outside. Plus, you don't have to turn on the stove even once.

Makes 4 servings

3 cups mixed fresh or frozen berries (raspberries, strawberries and/or blueberries work well)

1 cup cranberry juice (naturally sweetened if possible)

1 cup whole or low-fat yogurt

Juice of 1/2 lemon

1 to 2 tablespoons honey, to taste

A dollop or two of sour cream or creme fraiche for garnish (optional)

In a blender set at high speed, whiz the berries and juice together until you achieve a smooth puree. If you're using frozen berries the puree will be rather slushy. You'll need to stop and scrape down the sides of the blender periodically with a rubber spatula.

Strain the puree to remove any berry seeds or fibers. Place the puree back in the blender and add the yogurt, lemon and honey to taste. Serve with a dollop of sour cream or creme fraiche (or if you really feel like living large, put some sour cream, yogurt or creme fraiche in a squeeze bottle and do what those prep cooks in fancy restaurants do: Make some spirals or dots of cream and then drag a toothpick through them for spectacular effects).

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