Recipe from Ruth Carter, soups-and-specials cook at Austin’s Eastside Cafe.


4 cups dewberries or blackberries, rinsed
2 cups water
1/2 cup sugar
4 ounces cream cheese
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
4 cups fresh orange juice
mint leaves for garnish (optional)

Combine berries (reserve a few for garnish) with water in a food processor or blender and purée. Strain through a fine sieve to remove seed hulls. Return strained berries to food processor and add sugar, cream cheese, and lemon juice. Blend until smooth. Pour berry mixture and orange juice into a large bowl. Stir well. Chill 2 hours. Garnish with mint or whole berries. Makes approximately eight 8-ounce portions.


1 1/2 pounds cucumbers, peeled, seeded, and diced
1 cup half-and-half
6 cups plain yogurt (for a less tart soup, substitute more half-and-half)
1 cup water
2 tablespoons fresh dill, minced
salt and white pepper to taste

Set 1 cup of the diced cucumber aside. Place remaining cucumber in a food processor or blender and purée until smooth. Transfer to a large bowl. Add half-and-half, yogurt, water, and dill. Whisk well. Stir in reserved cucumber. Season with salt and white pepper. Chill 2 hours. Makes approximately eight 8-ounce portions.

Avocado-Poblano Cream

5 ripe avocados, peeled and seeded
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, minced
1/4 teaspoon ground red chile
10 cups chicken stock, vegetable stock, or water
1 cup whipping cream or sour cream
1 tablespoon fresh chives, minced
1 fresh poblano chile, broiled and cut into strips
salt and pepper to taste

In a blender or food processor, purée avocados, lime juice, cilantro, ground chile, and 2 cups of the stock or water. Transfer to a large bowl. Combine avocado purée with remaining stock or water. Stir in whipping cream or sour cream, chives, and poblano strips. Season with salt and pepper. Serve warm or chilled. Makes approximately eleven 8-ounce portions.