Norwegian Fruit Soup is a warm soup based on dried fruits. Yes, I meant to say "warm." There are as many recipes for Fruit Soup as there are Norwegian families. But ours is the right one! Just kidding. Some of the recipes seem strange and unappetizing to me, that's true, but it's mainly because I've never tried them. Some recipes look as though they might be as good as our family's recipe.
I could go on about how each recipe springs from a distinct region of Norway, just as does the Bunad-
|by knitting iris via Flickr Creative Commons|
(Uffda! This woman looks so much like my mother!)
-the traditional Norwegian folk wear- and hearken back for centuries, recalling thousands of years of family and tradition in each particular fjord and valley. But I would be serving you a load of svin skitt. Pardon my Norwegian. Simply put, there are many "right" recipes for Fruktsuppe. I am skeptical, however, of the true Norwegian-ness (that's an old word I just made up) of the recipes that call for things like pineapple, fresh mango, and canned fruit cocktail. These soups are probably delicious but those ingredients were most likely not available on the fjord in the dead of winter way back when. I'm just sayin' ...
This recipe comes from my Aunt and is a Christmas Eve staple at our house. Let's get busy.
Aunt Tante's Fruit Soup
(Tante is Norwegian for "aunt". Since I generally do not use real given names here in the Jungle, we'll go with tante).
You will need:
1/2 lb pitted prunes
1 cup raisins
4 tbsp Tapioca
1/4 lb. dried apricots
3/4 cup sugar
1 cinnamon stick
1 can tart red cherries, with liquid
Notes on ingredients: Tante's recipe says to use 2 tbsp large pearl tapioca and 2 tbsp of small pearl. I was only able to find the small pearl Tapioca this year so 4 tbsp of small it is.
The small is pictured above on the left. Large pearl Tapioca is way cool and is what is used in Pearl Milk/Bubble Tea/etc. Instant tapioca is shown on the right above. It's crushed and I suppose would do in an absolute emergency but I've never used it so can't give a first hand testimony.
Let's get busy---
Start this recipe in the evening the day before you plan to serve it.
Snip the prunes and apricots in half, three's at the most. I don't have a picture of the snipped prunes I'm willing to share as they didn't look very appetizing. Just couldn't get a good picture of snipped prunes but they will be about the same size as the apricots.
Slice the lemon and orange into thin slices. Don't peel them. You can cut the little belly button thing off the lemon if you want.
Put the prunes, apricots, lemon, orange, raisins, tapioca, sugar, and cinnamon stick in a large pot such as a Dutch oven.
Add just enough water to cover the fruit and stir it up just enough to dissolve the sugar. Put the lid on the pot and...
... go away. Let the soup sit unheated and undisturbed overnight.
Add the canned cherries and their liquid last and simmer for about 5 minutes.
Notes about heating and progression through the recipe: You can finish off the soup in the morning, turn the heat off, and let it sit until you're ready to serve- just gently warm it up again. Or you can let it sit all day and finish the soup off about 1/2 an hour or so before you plan to serve it. It doesn't really matter.
This soup is meant to be served warm. For some reason, we always serve ours in small crystal cups. I have no explanation for that other than it was what Mom had available after all the other food was dished up and so the tradition was born. It's also good eaten right out of the pot, just don't let anyone see you doing so.
Yes, you can eat it cold if you would like but you really should try it warm first. Warm is our family's preference, even for leftovers.
Yes, it's good, warm or cold, with a nice vanilla ice cream.
Until next time, wishing you ...