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MIXED EXOTIC-FRUIT GAZPACHO

MIXED EXOTIC-FRUIT GAZPACHO

1-1/2 cups water

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3/4 cup sugar

2 tablespoons fresh mint leaves

2 pints fresh strawberries, cleaned and hulled

1 pint fresh raspberries

Juice of 1 lemon

1 mango, peeled, pitted, and diced

1 papaya, seeded and diced

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1 kiwi fruit, peeled and cut into julienned strips

GARNISH:

1 pint fruit sorbet (raspberry or strawberry works well)

Fresh mint leaves

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the water, sugar, and mint leaves. Simmer until the sugar is completely dissolved. Strain out the mint leaves. Reserve.

Set aside 1/2 pint of the smaller strawberries for garnish and combine the rest with the raspberries and lemon juice in a blender or food processor fitted with the metal blade. Puree them until they liquefy. Using a fine strainer, strain the berries into a large nonaluminum bowl and add the reserved sugar syrup. Mix well to combine, cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.

To serve, cut the reserved strawberries into julienned strips. Ladle some berry puree into 6 shallow soup bowls, then arrange all the fruits on top in a whimsical pattern. Place a small scoop of sorbet in the center of each bowl and garnish with fresh mint leaves. Serve immediately. Serves six.