Food & Drink

Ro Howe’s Recipes: Chilled Pear Soup with Raspberries

Though we can find pears all year, they are at their best and a glorious blessing of midsummer. When you bite, their solid structure defies viscosity. Their soft, slightly gritty cell structure holds intensely flavored juice with a distinct floral-pear aroma. Bite into a ripe pear and you will be forgiven the drool of nectar smearing your lips.

Roasted and baked pears are a wonderful, healthy staple for dessert, but hot summer weather begs for a cooler approach. With a few simple additions we make a delicious chilled soup to finish off a summer meal with light, cool delight.

To balance the high fruit flavor and texture profile we add a smudge of dairy in the form of crème fraîche, which holds its texture in a floating cushion. Adding marjoram, an intensely floral herb related closely to oregano bestows its floral citrus kiss to the creaminess. This is the vital dance partner to the rasps of sprightly raspberries that bejewel the soup.

RELATED: Ro’s Recipes: Madeira Squash Soup

Chilled Pear Soup with Raspberries and Marjoram Crème Fraîche


Yield: Six servings as an appetizer or 30 mignardise portions

Equipment: measuring cups and spoons, large saucepan, wooden spoon, cutting board, chef’s knife, medium bowl, small metal whisk, small ice cream scoop


4 cups water
1 cup white wine
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 cup sugar
4 crushed cardamom pods
4 peeled, diced pears

1 cup crème fraiche
1 tablespoon minced marjoram leaves
2 teaspoons superfine sugar

1 pint raspberries
6 marjoram sprigs


For the soup, combine all the liquid, sugar, cardamom and diced pears. Bring to boil and simmer half an hour.
Cool, remove cardamom husks and liquefy in blender till smooth, Chill.
Combine crème fraîche, minced marjoram, and sugar and whip to thicken. Chill.
To serve, pour into bowls or glasses. Using a small ice cream scoop, float crème fraîche on soup. Add three raspberries to each serving. Garnish with marjoram sprig.


RELATED: Ro’s Recipes: Cucumber Soup—the Coolest, Most Elegant Response to Sultry Summer

Start the conversation

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.