When I was a kid, my mom would end the holiday season with Søtsuppe ("Sweet Soup"), a traditional Danish fruit soup, which she served with a huge dollop of whipped cream every New Year. My brother and I used to tease her (with a certain degree of accuracy, if not tact) that this was her method for clearing relatives out of the house.
The infamous fruit soup has since become one of those childhood recipes I've started to revisit with an eye toward adapting for my son and updating for myself. Enter the Marx Foods "A Chili & A Spoon" Blogger Recipe Challenge.
I was fortunate enough to receive a box with samples of six different kinds of dried chilies and a letter with the following directive:
Your challenge is to create an original recipe using at least one of the six types of chili you'll find in this box. The only other criterion is that it must be a dish that requires a spoon to eat.How could I resist?
After sticking my nose into the bags of chilies and inhaling their peppery goodness, I researched the flavor profiles of the two mildest chilies, the Guajillo and the round Cascabel ("little bell"), which captivated me with its rattling seeds. The Guajillo has berry tones, while the milder Cascabel is more smoky and woodsy, both of which were welcome additions to my sweet soup. I rehydrated two Cascabel and a single Guajillo pepper according to Marx Food's directions. Afterward I removed the seeds and made the skins into a paste. Bravely, I touched a tiny portion to my tongue. As expected, the heat briefly overwhelmed me. Once it receded, though, I could feel the smokiness rolling over my taste buds. It was exactly the kick my staid Scandinavian soup needed.
The original version of the fruit soup lends itself to improvisation and clearing leftover bits and bags of dried fruit out of the corners of the cupboards. It also made a whopping 3 quarts of juicy goodness to feed your nearest and dearest. In addition to spicing things up, I've cut the quantities in half. While the choice of dried and fresh fruit is always varied, I've italicized my nontraditional additions and substitutions, so that the bones of the original recipe are still visible.
Sweet and Spicy Fruit Soup
1/2 C dried apricots
1/4 C dried plums (prunes)
1/4 C dried cherries
1/4 C dried dates
1/4 C raisins
2 Tbs candied ginger
1 apple, skinned, cored, seeded and finely chopped
2 Tbs honey (or agave to make vegan) for granulated sugar
2 Tbs tapioca
1 cinnamon stick
a few fresh gratings of nutmeg
zest of one orange
1/8 tsp chili paste (adjust as desired)
1/4 C raspberry preserves
Finely chop the dried fruit and candied ginger and place in sauce pan with 4 Cups of water. Cover and allow to soak for 2 to 3 hours. Add the rest of the ingredients except preserves and stir until completely integrated. Bring mixture to a boil over high, then reduce heat, cover and simmer for 1 hour.
Remove pan from heat and remove cinnamon stick. Stir preserves into soup. Transfer to a bowl and chill in refrigerator.
Traditionally served cold with whipped cream and slivered almonds, I slid a scoop of my son's favorite vanilla bean coconut milk ice cream on top instead.
It looks like the Søtsuppe is going to get passed down another generation after all.
Many thanks to Marx Foods for the free samples and for letting me participate in this fantastic challenge. There's going to be a poll to determine the winner, so I'll update this post with a link to the contest, if you'd be kind enough to pop over to their site and vote for my kickin' soup!
I'm also sharing my fruit soup with Souper Sundays, hosted by Deb of Kahakai Kitchen. She posts a great weekly round up of soups, salads and sammies.
Update: Here it is, the link to the contest! Just click on the badge. Thanks for taking the time to vote, and be sure to check out all the other smoking hot recipes!