Apricot and White Wine Soup

Apricot and White Wine Soup

Serves 4-6

12 apricots, quartered and pits removed (2 to 2-1/2 pounds)

2 – 4 tablespoons honey

1 orange, zest removed in strips with a vegetable peeler, and juiced

1/8 teaspoon salt

1-1/4 cups dry but floral white wine (such as Viognier, Clairette, or Dry Muscat), divided use

¼ teaspoon vanilla extract

Optional topping:  6 tablespoons Mascarpone, very soft (or barely warmed in the microwave.

Combine the apricots, 2 tablespoons of honey, the orange juice and zest, salt, and 1 cup of the wine in a large saucepan.  Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to simmer, cover, and cook for 20 minutes.  Turn off the heat and let the mixture sit for 15 minutes.  Remove the orange zest pieces and puree or put through a food mill.  Chill for at least 2 hours.

Before serving, add the vanilla and the remaining ¼ cup of wine.  Taste and add up to 2 tablespoons more honey if the mixture is too tart.  You’re not looking for it to be sweet, but the honey will balance the acidity of the soup.  Serve cool or cold.  Top each serving with a tablespoon of softened Mascarpone.