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Keep cool with soups of summer

Consuming more fresh fruits and vegetables is easy when cooks “chill out.”

Chilled soups made from melons, cucumbers, potatoes, tomatoes, peppers and more summertime specimens inspired my latest food section column. The recipes yield fun, flavorful meals that won’t heat up the kitchen.

And don’t forget pineapple. I found some golden ripe fruits this week at my locally owned grocer. But absent fresh pineapple, canned could be substituted in a pinch and combined with cucumber and cantaloupe for this twist on traditional gazpacho from the Andalusia region of southern Spain.

Tribune News Service photo

Pineapple Gazpacho

For soup:

1 garlic clove, peeled

1 shallot, peeled

2 cups peeled and roughly chopped cucumber

1 cup peeled and roughly chopped cantaloupe

1 cup peeled and roughly chopped pineapple

1 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

For garnish:

5 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil, divided

5 teaspoons peeled and diced cucumber, divided

5 teaspoons peeled and diced cantaloupe, divided

5 teaspoons peeled and diced pineapple, divided

10 teaspoons micro arugula, divided

5 slices crispy prosciutto (see note)

For soup, add the garlic clove and shallot to bowl of a food processor or blender; chop until finely minced. Add the roughly chopped cucumber, cantaloupe and pineapple to processor; blend until pureed. Next, add 1/3 cup water, the salt and olive oil, then blend until fully incorporated.

Transfer to a sealed container and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 24 to allow flavors to fully incorporate. To serve, pour gazpacho into 5 bowls and drizzle each with a teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil. Then, top each bowl with a teaspoon each of the diced cucumber, cantaloupe and pineapple, 2 teaspoons each of the micro arugula, and 1 piece of the crispy prosciutto.

Makes 5 servings.

NOTE: To make crispy prosciutto, brush each of 5 slices with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Arrange in a single layer on either a wire rack or parchment paper on top of a cookie sheet, and bake at 400 F for about 10 to 15 minutes, or until meat has become crispy.