In Scandinavian and Slavic countries, they make lovely creamy concoctions from fresh fruits. They make an excellent dessert, as they are both cold and sweet, but traditionally they were a first course, as a way to awakening the taste buds and giving the diners a preview of things to come.
Fruit soups are served in soup “plates”: shallow bowls that hold just about a cup, and generally have a wide flat edge.
This recipe goes back to Poland. It is made here with fresh peaches, but you can substitute tinned, if necessary. Fresh is definitely better.
Peach Soup Recipe
1. 2 pounds of fresh peaches or nectarines
2. 2 cups water
3. ¼ cup sugar
4. 1 tablespoon lemon juice
5. the zest of one lemon
6. 1 teaspoon corn starch
7. 1 tablespoon cold water for garnish
8. sliced artisan bread with sunflower seeds
9. butter (to make croutons)
10. sour cream
1. Peel, halve and pit the peaches. Reserve the pits (they give a lovely almond flavor. But do not eat them alone. They can be poisonous). Tie the pits in a piece of cheese cloth. They will be picked out later.
2. Put the peaches and the larger amount of water in a pot. Cook, partially covered, on a low boil for 20 minutes. Remove the cheesecloth with the pits and discard.
3. Using an immersion blender, puree the fruit, then add the sugar, lemon and zest. Return the the heat on medium to low, being careful not to allow it to scorch.
4. Mix the corn starch with a small amount of water. Add it gradually to the soup as it comes up to the boil. Once it is clear and thick, remove from the heat and cool. Refrigerate for several hours or overnight.
5. Just before serving, remove the crusts from two slices of artisan bread with sunflower seeds. Butter the bread liberally on both sides. Place the bread in a heavy skillet and fry on both sides, until it becomes crispy and golden. Cut the bread into small cubes.
6. Ladle into soup plates. In the center of each plate, put a large tablespoon full of sour cream. Use a toothpick to draw the sour cream out into pretty patterns. Place several of the croutons around the main dollop.
- You can do this same soup with apricots or cherries. It is not necessary to peel either of these fruits, but if you are using cherries, you may want to put the fruit through a food mill to remove the tougher skins. Berries of most any variety may also be used.
- You can also mix the fruits up, like mango and peaches, or use different types of melons. Experiment, have fun with it.
- If you do not have sufficient fresh fruit available, you can use canned fruit. Reserve the juice and use in place of the water and sugar. If using canned fruit in syrup, double the amount of lemon juice.
- Just for fun, you can serve them in Margarita or martini glasses, and garnish with some fresh fruit.