Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Chilled Plum Soup

Chilled Plum Soup

Aromatic spices and (optional) chipotle energize this seasonal pleaser

Plums are overflowing our supermarket displays this time of year. They’re just begging us to take them away from their overcrowded bins. So how can we leave plums off the dinner menu?

This savory soup gives the succulent stone fruit a starring role. It’s a terrific starter for a festive meal.

So cheer up your summer-weary guests with a cool spooner. And give some plums a home.



Chilled Plum Soup

Recipe: Chilled Plum Soup

Plums (and pluots, a combination of plums and apricots) are in season from late spring until early fall. We particularly like to buy them in late August and early September – that’s when they seem to be at their sweetest and most flavorful in our part of the world.

You can make this soup with plums, pluots, or a mix of the two. So buy what looks best at your market.

Prep time for this dish is about 10 minutes. Cooking adds another 30 minutes or so. Then the soup needs to chill for at least two hours in the refrigerator.

You can make this dish a day ahead, if you wish. In fact, we recommend it – that gives the flavors more time to mingle.

This recipe serves 4 as a first course. Leftovers keep for a day or two if refrigerated in an airtight container.

Ingredients
  • ~2 pounds plums or pluots (or a mix of the two) 
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 whole chipotle chile pepper (optional, but tasty – see Notes; we use canned chipotles)
  • ¾ cup port wine (ruby is our choice; see Notes for substitutions)
  • ¾ cup orange juice
  • honey or brown sugar if needed (maybe a tablespoon or two; see Notes)
  • salt to taste (a couple of pinches of kosher salt for us; see Notes)
  • garnish of sour cream or yogurt and/or mint (optional)
Procedure
  1. Wash the plums and stem them if necessary. Then pit them: The easiest way is to cut the plums in half along the equator, then pull out the pits. Chop the plums roughly.
  2. Place the chopped plums in a nonreactive saucepan. Add the spices (cloves, nutmeg, allspice, and cinnamon), along with the chipotle chile pepper, port wine, and orange juice. Bring the mixture to a simmer. Then partially cover the saucepan and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes (until the flesh of the plums starts to break down).
  3. Remove the plum mixture from the heat and let it cool. Then zap the mixture with a handheld blender (or ladle it into a blender or food processor). Process until smooth. 
  4. Taste the soup. Add honey or brown sugar if necessary. Add salt if needed. Process briefly to incorporate the added ingredients, then pour the soup into an airtight container. Refrigerate for at least two hours (preferably overnight).
  5. To serve, ladle the soup into bowls. For garnish (if desired), add a dollop of sour cream or yogurt, and/or a mint sprig. Enjoy!
Chilled Plum Soup

Notes
  • Port goes well with many fruits – and it’s perfect in this dish. We like to use ruby port for cooking. But any port that you’d enjoy drinking would work.
  • You could substitute a fruity red wine for the port if you prefer. Beaujolais would be our choice. We haven’t tried pinot noir, but have heard it works well with plums.
  • Freshly squeezed OJ is ideal in this dish, but bottled orange juice works perfectly well.
  • Want a more intense orange flavor? Add some orange zest.
  • Or try adding a tablespoon of orange liqueur (like Grand Marnier) to each bowl before serving.
  • One chipotle chile pepper gives a hint of spice to this soup, but won’t be particularly hot. Use two chipotles if you like to walk on the wild side.
  • In the US, canned chipotle chilies are usually sold in 7-ounce containers. The adobo sauce they’re packed in tends to be quite tangy. You could use a teaspoon of it in this dish if you want.
  • Leftover canned chipotle chilies keep for weeks (months, really) if refrigerated in an airtight container. You can also freeze them.
  • You may (or may not) want to add some sweetness to this soup – it depends on your taste buds. Honey or brown sugar would be our sweeteners of choice.
  • You may also need to add a pinch or two of salt to bring out the flavor. 
  • Instead of salt, you could add a tablespoon of lemon juice or balsamic vinegar to this dish. The acid makes the flavor “pop.”
  • We like to garnish this soup with a tablespoon of sour cream or yogurt (Greek yogurt works particularly well). A sprig of mint adds a nice finishing touch.
  • Or add a dollop of savory whipped cream: Just whip some cream the normal way. But instead of adding sugar, substitute a bit of salt and black pepper.
Chilled Plum Soup

Everybody Must Get Stoned

“Slurp,” said Mrs. Kitchen Riffs. “This soup provokes me to a purple passion.”

“Yup,” I said. “Plum delicious.”

“Stone fruits are so subversive,” said Mrs K R. “Just sitting there in bins, looking innocent.”

“And no one suspects how much flavor punch they pack,” I said. “Especially when you combine them with a few spices.”

“Then they turn into weapons of mass attraction,” said Mrs K R. “It’s crazy.”

Plum crazy, you might say.

You may also enjoy reading about:
Chilled Beet and Cucumber Soup
Summer Corn, Zucchini, and Bean Soup
Hungarian-Style Cold Cherry Soup
Chilled Cucumber Soup with Yogurt and Dill
Quick and Easy Gazpacho
Peach and Chipotle Gazpacho
Strawberry-Chipotle Soup with Mint
Summer Pea Soup with Mint
Or check out the index for more

72 comments:

  1. This is a super unique and dynamo recipe. Love all the spices, the fruits and everything about it. Great use of the seasons harvest as well. Sharing, of course!

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    1. Hi Bobbi, this is a terrific recipe -- one of the best things we've made in quite a while. Really. Good. Stuff. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  2. Wow! I've never had a soup like this before. It looks beautiful and sounds delicious.

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    1. Hi Pam, this is really good! Making it again this weekend. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  3. OMG love this soup! I am a fan of fruit soups since discovering so many in Hungary but I never saw a plum one before. So will try this recipe! Thanks John.

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    1. HI Evelyne, this is a wonderful soup. Make it once, and I'll bet you make it again and again. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  4. Cold soups would be perfect for this end-of-summer time period. The distinction between culinary "fruits" and "vegetables" can really be pretty arbitrary -- why traditional tomato soup but not plum? Who decides these things for us? Good that your post raises the question: what's good in soup! (Note that I'm using _culinary_ fruit & veg for my definition -- the botanical definition is clear and says tomatoes are a fruit for sure. But that's not important now.)

    best... mae at maefood.blogspot.com

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    1. Hi Mae, although we usually think of fruit as something sweet -- and of course it is -- it also makes a wonderful base or accent for savory dishes. But I like it most in a soup like this! Thanks for the comment.

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  5. I need to make this ASAP! Looks so good, John.

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    1. Hi Angie, you really do need to make this ASAP! Your taste buds will thank you. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  6. It is like to eat dessert in form of soup with the brown sugar and all those warm spices. Thanks for the inspiration!

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    1. Hi Denise, the spices in this are really pleasing. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  7. oh wow! What a fabulous way to enjoy plums! There is so much summer in every spoonful.

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    1. Hi Deb, yup, this definitely tastes like summer! :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  8. Looks good, John! I had blueberry soup not too long ago at a restaurant and thought it was great, and I bet plum soup would be even better. You make it sound easy enough to make and will be a perfect hot weather soup for the temps they're predicting for next week. Thanks for the recipe!

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    1. Hi Pam, this IS pretty easy. Lotta flavor for not too much work. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  9. John this sounds wonderful and looks so pretty! I can only imagine how wonderful the house will smell while this simmers - just like fall!

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    1. Hi Vicki, this does have a wonderful aroma as it cooks! :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  10. This sounds delicious! I love cold soups in the summertime. I bet the flavor is just wonderful.

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    1. Hi Dawn, cold soups are so refreshing during hot weather. The terrific flavor of this one is a plus. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  11. gorgeous photos and the soup sounds fabulous. i sometimes make a savoury israeli cherry soup which is great in summer. too cold here yet. :) cheers sherry

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    1. Hi Sherry, just wait for a few months, then this (and your cherry soup!) will be really welcome as your weather heats up/ :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  12. Not too often that we see soups using fruit but I'm glad you're pulling one out for us! Boy, those chipotle peppers in adobo are really spicy- I can only use 1/2 pepper or I'll be reaching for the nearest fire hydrant! I could see myself serving this as a dessert soup- thanks so much!

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    1. Hi Fran, we like spice, so one chipotle actually seems kinda mild to us. :-) This could definitely be a dessert soup. In that case, I'd add a fair amount of sugar, and use sweetened whipped cream as the garnish. Thanks for the comment.

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  13. Yep, plum delicious! However, this sounds more like something I would serve at the end of meal. (Honestly, I have never been able to wrap my brain around chilled soups---with the exception of gazpacho.) I need to revisit my though process on this though!

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    1. Hi Debra, I can definitely see why this would appeal as an end-of-meal choice. But it's pretty savory, so you'd wat to sweeten it up. Thanks for the comment.

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  14. The color of this soup is just gorgeous! And it sounds like such a delicious and different way to eat plums--yum!

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    1. Hi Kelsie, isn't the color nice? And the flavor!!! :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  15. Oh John, this chilled plum soup sounds and looks delicious, perfect for the summer...I am loving all the ingredients in it...and can only imagine how delicious and satisfying would be to taste it. Thanks for the recipe. I hope you are having a great week!

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    1. Hi Juliana, satisfying is the word for this! Really good stuff. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  16. Your soup is such a gorgeous color which is enough to get me to try it. Have never had a plum soup but after going through the list of ingredients, I can't wait to try it.

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    1. Hi MJ, bet you'll like this -- it's SO GOOD! We've having it again this weekend. And I agree -- the color is so much fun! Thanks for the comment.

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  17. John, this is beautiful! I am crazy about plums and usually just eat them out of hand, but next time I must set some aside for this soup.

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    1. Hi Jean, if you love plums, this soup is perfect for you! Really nice way to inhale them. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  18. WOW! This soup sounds crazy good. Especially with the cinnamon and chipotle. I cannot wait to make it - thanks!

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    1. Hi Mimi, the spices in this play a huge part when it comes to the flavor. Really nice stuff. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  19. I really like chilled soups, yours looks so good☺ In Poland we make a really delicious chilled beetroot soup☺

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    1. Hi Natalia, the spicing of this would be really nice with beetroot. I think -- haven't actually made beet soup with these spices, but they sound like they're work really well. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  20. I've never had a savory plum dish before, let alone a soup!! this sounds interesting. Thanks for the recipe.
    BTW: I've had a hard time making the comment box visible!!! I had to refresh many times, maybe you should keep an eye on it or may be it is from my part. Just wanted to let you know.

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    1. Hi Amira, thanks for the heads up on the comment box -- I think Blogger is having problems. Although I've noticed the same problem on other blogging platforms lately. Weird! Anyway, it's a great dish -- thanks for the comment.

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  21. This certainly does look like a nice way to close out the summer! Looking forward to some fall recipes! :)

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    1. Hi GiGi, it IS time for some fall recipes, isn't it? Soon. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  22. Love your version of this soup, John! I use an old one from a Bon Appétit! Naturally, it’s finished with cream! I will try yours now in an attempt to be a bit healthier!

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    1. Hi David, this is a WONDERFUL soup! We had it again tonight -- tons of flavor. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  23. I go crazy at the farmers markets this time of year, buying way too much fruit. But I just can't resist. This plum soup looks divine -- and handy, since I can only eat so many stone fruit out of hand before they get too soft.

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    1. Hi Carolyn, you'll like this, I think -- really nice flavor. Thanks for the comment.

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  24. Wow this is new to me and sounds wonderful! I adore plums and I bet I would love this soup. Outstanding :)

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    1. Hi Tricia, this is indeed an outstanding soup! We had it again last night -- SO GOOD! :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  25. I haven't had fruit soup in ages, I should imagine this soup would be fantastic when made with super sweet ripe plums. Lovely recipe, I am bookmarking this for later :D

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    1. Hi Emma, this is really good -- one of the best things we've made this year. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  26. I made a chilled peach soup not too long ago and know I would absolutely love this!

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    1. Hi Laura, chilled fruit soups are good, aren't they? :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  27. I've never had a soup like this before! Sounds intriguing!

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    1. Hi Jeff, it's a neat soup -- super flavor and texture. Thanks for the comment.

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  28. How unique and how delicious! I am a huge fan of adding heat to fruit, and all of the ingredients here sound delicious together. Just lovely!

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    1. Hi Valentina, it's a WONDERFUL combo of flavors. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  29. This sounds like a fun first course! I've paired plums with port in a tart. They go so well together. Love the chipotle in this too!

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    1. Hi Lisa, plums and port are a dynamite combo. Add some chipotle, and you've got a terrific dish. If I do say so myself. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  30. How interesting! I have never tried anything similar to this before, would love to give it a go!

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    1. Hi Caroline, this is really worth trying -- tons of flavor.:-) Thanks for the comment.

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  31. Wow what a unique and lovely summer soup idea this is! Super creative idea and all the spices sound intriguing with the plum.

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    1. Hi Amy, the spicing of this is superb! Really interesting flavor. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  32. This looks wonderful John. I never had a plum soup, i can imagine the refreshing great flavor.

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    1. Hi Gerlinde, this is a nice end-of-summer treat. Thanks for the comment.

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  33. I love plums and I love chilled soups. This one is very creative and enticing. I can't wait to try it! --Rocquie

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    1. Hi Rocquie, this really is good -- I think you'll enjoy it. Thanks for the comment.

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  34. Plums are falling from our tree in the back and looking for ways to be eaten. This soup sounds so interesting and tasty. We don't get canned chipotle chili pepper here, but we do have a chipotle paste and I'll give that a try with your soup. Thanks for helping with my oversupply of plums.

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    1. Hi Ron, I'd imagine chipotle paste would work. And glad to help with your plum situation. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  35. Wow, John! I love EVERYTHING about this soup! How unique and special! I think this is the best chilled soup I've seen, yet! Everyone becomes crazy out summer peaches (with good reason!), that I think plums get overlooked! I am definitely giving this one a whirl! Thank you for sharing it! :)

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    1. Hi Anne, this is a terrific soup. Bet you'll love it -- such wonderful flavor. :-) Thanks for the comment.

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  36. I never had thought of using plum on soups, this looks good!

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    1. Hi Raymund, this is definitely a bit different. And definitely good stuff! :-) Thanks for the comment.

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