Olivette

Rx for heat relief: Why steam over a bowl of soup when you can chill? Refreshingly, Olivette [inside the Houstonian Hotel and Spa, 111 North Post Oak Lane, (713)685-6713, nonmembers welcome] offers cold seasonal soups du jour. For the dazzling orange-strawberry number ($4.50), fresh OJ and strawberries are pureed to a silky rouge finish (no seeds), then prettied up with crème fraîche and garnished with basil chiffonade. The result: pure refreshment — not sweet — with a balanced, citrus-edged fruitiness and a herbaceous bite. Olivette's summer melon soup is creamier, with a fresh, ginger-scented yogurt base, diced cantaloupe and mint. Curry-apple soup is Chef Mills's newest creation, a bowl of pure gold with a savory chicken stock and Granny Smith apple puree laced with cayenne and garnished with watercress and minced pineapple. All suitable, slightly chichi prescriptions for curing the Houston summertime blues.
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