Citrus Fruit Soup

Adapted from Lior Lev Sercarz

3 cups orange juice
1 vanilla bean, scraped
4 cardamom pods, crushed
1 tablespoon pink peppercorns, crushed
2 tablespoons orange blossom water
2 oranges
2 blood oranges
2 tablespoons sugar, if needed
1 cup roughly chopped Turkish dried figs
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon chopped mint
2 tablespoons toasted pistachios or almonds

1. Bring the orange juice to a simmer in a saucepan. Turn the heat off and add the vanilla bean and its seeds, the cardamom, peppercorns, and 1 tablespoon of orange blossom water. Let sit, covered, for 30 minutes. Then put the mixture through a strainer, reserving the juice.

2. Cut off the tops and bottoms of the four oranges with a sharp knife. Slice off the peel and the white pith from top to bottom, and cut in between the white membranes to extract individual segments. Put segments in a large bowl with the strained orange juice. If the juice is not sweet enough, stir in sugar a little at a time. Add the figs, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate. You can do this up to a day in advance.

3. Just before serving, ladle some of the citrus juice, figs, and orange segments into a glass dessert bowl or individual cognac glass. Splash remaining orange blossom water and olive oil over the fruit. Then sprinkle with cilantro and mint leaves and scatter a pinch of pistachios or almonds on top.

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

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