A chilled fruit soup is a perfect second or third course, or maybe even a starter on its own. Although we've been known to serve this dish in shot glasses, or even white wine glasses, it also works well the old-fashioned way: with a bowl and spoon. In that case, have a baguette at the table, too. And if you're feeling adventurous and have some buttery shortbread on hand, sweeten some plain yogurt with maple syrup and use it to garnish this tasty soup for a different twist on dessert. — Vegetarian Dinner Parties
Make the soup through step 4 up to 2 days in advance.
Chill the prepared soup with the sour cream up to 6 hours in advance.
The plums should be ripe but not too soft. Otherwise they can develop a slightly fermented taste when cooked. You can substitute fresh for frozen sliced plums, thawed.
For garnish, snip chives over the servings, or drip bottled hot red pepper sauce on top.
If you don't have a large blender, you'll need to purée the soup in batches. Divide the plums and other ingredients in half so that each batch is evenly distributed.
Reprinted from Vegetarian Dinner Parties by Bruce Weinstein & Mark Scarbrough. Copyright (c) 2014 by Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough. By permission of Rodale Books. Available wherever books are sold.
- 4 Cups water
- 2 Pounds red or black plums, halved
- ¼ Teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- ¼ Teaspoon salt
- 1 4-inch cinnamon stick
- 4 whole cloves
- ½ Cup sugar
- ½ Cup medium-dry red wine, such as a pinot noir or red Friuli
- ½ Cup sour cream
Combine the water, plums, nutmeg, salt, cinnamon stick, and cloves in a large saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally.
Cover, reduce the heat to low, and simmer slowly until the fruit is quite soft, about 20 minutes.
Use a slotted spoon to transfer the plums to a large blender. Crank the heat to high under the saucepan and boil the remaining liquid until reduced by half. Fish out and discard the cinnamon stick and cloves. Pour the reduced liquid into the blender. Add the sugar and wine.
Cover the blender, remove the lid's center knob, place a clean kitchen towel over the opening, and blend until smooth, turning off the machine to scrape down the inside of the canister at least once. Pour the puree into a large bowl, cover, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or simply set the blender canister in the fridge, covered, for 4 hours.
Whisk in the sour cream, or add the sour cream to the blender canister and blend until smooth. Cover and chill again for at least 3 hours before serving.