All content copyright Katrina Hall 2008 through 2018

Monday, March 9, 2015

how Finnish fruit soup saved my winter

At last, at last - the sun is out and the snow is melting - not that we'd notice a few inches less in these drifts and snow corridors carved out from the house to the car, but that bone-chilling cold has lifted today all the way to 45 degrees.  I can't tell you the relief I felt when I suddenly thought winter is on the way out.  Now, I know we'll probably get a few more snowstorms - but the worst of winter, cross fingers, is over.

And I looked down at my almost daily bowl of Finnish Fruit soup and smiled.  Last night I made up a new pot of it, and thankfully wrote down the recipe, which has been slowly modified through this long winter: more spices (including those spicy green cardamom pods, which I split to flavor the fruits), lemon and orange peel, whole cinnamon sticks, a slice of fresh ginger root.

My fruit choices expanded to adding dried currants for the tang, and the usual pitted prunes and dried apricots and raisins.  Sometimes a few slices of fresh apples found their way into the pot as well.

I don't know why I abandoned the oatmeal with apples, but when winter moved in, in a serious way, I switched to fruit soup, using a recipe I got from a Finnish cook and baker on the Cape.  And every time I ate it , I noticed each spice, each fruit, in a different way - and in the process, forgot about the latest blizzard.

The recipe :

1 cup pitted prunes
1/2 cup dried apricots
2 tablespoons dried raisins
1 tablespoon dried currants
3 dried green cardamom pods, split 
2 cinnamon sticks
2 tablespoons thinly sliced lemon and orange peel
a thin slice of fresh ginger root

Add the above to a cooking pot and cover with cold water - just enough to cover.
Bring to a simmer, simmer for 6 minutes.
Turn off the heat and cover the pot for an hour before eating - by then, the spices and the fruits are well infused, and very delicious.  If you prefer a heavier, more syrupy juice, just simmer it a little longer - I prefer the lighter version.

Happy Monday!


La Table De Nana said...

Winter is relenting here too..the snow fell of all the back south portion of the it means finally warmth.
The wind was brisk snowsheoing though and the snow deep apart from the ski groomed ones..
I just threw out a passed date end of bag of pitted prunes..Must be so good for you! Thanks!
I knew one Finnish girl and her family..she gave me 2 great recipes..Beautiful smart girl..great cook!

Katrina said...

Oh, so relieved winter is pulling back a bit in your neck of the woods, Nana! It's been too cold for me to attempt snowshoeing - and yes, the snow very deep!
Mama Ojala was a wonderful cook and baker - to this day I still haven't tasted a Nisu as delicious as hers.

La Table De Nana said...

This has been the winter we have seen the least skiiers and snowshoers out's been so so frugid..the last week..the high school gym class has xcountried.. Looks so fun.
My phys ed class was never that fun.
Maybe that's why I do it when I can now..
Soon we will be growing herbs Katrina:)

katrina said...

Nana - you just said the magic words -"soon we will be growing herbs" !!!!!! That makes me SO happy! Merci, Madame.

katrina said...

My mother always had stewed dried fruits - especially prunes and apricots, because they were high in iron and other nutrients, so I guess I pretty much grew up with them being around - but never tasted as good as these!

Barb said...

My mother frequently made a cold fruit soup in the summer months, but I wasn't familiar with a warm winter fruit soup. It does sound quite interesting.

It seems like our frigid winter is finally coming to a close, too. At least I think we can tell that the end is in sight. (Of course as soon as I say that I'll jinx it and will get a big snow storm - ha! Ha!). Yesterday reached 52 degrees - it was glorious! This whole week is supposed to be similar. Yeah!!

katrina said...

Barb - did your mother use fresh or dried fruit (or both) for her summer fruit soup? I'd be interested in knowing about it if you have a minute.

Weather is glorious, happy yours is too! Yes, it's supposed to snow again, but we're on the way to Spring, finally. Too many of those 10-20 below days this winter! Happy almost Spring!

Barb said...

Katrina, I'll see if I can find the recipe for her summer fruit soup and I'll let you know.

xo - Barb

katrina said...

Thanks, Barb! I'm betting raspberries might be in that recipe? *swoon*