I consciously took a week off from blogging. As much as I fought it, I think I needed a little break. Once again I was finding that I was putting pressure on myself to post because that's what I'd grown accustomed to. That's not a reason to blog. It's not why I want to blog. So, I took a little time off. I'm back now and feeling pretty darn good about this space, the creative process, and, most importantly, the recipes I plan to share over the next few months.
There was a bit of an inner struggle about what to post. I knew I wanted to do something seasonal, but I felt like I'd covered all the bases recently with the dishes I've created using tomato, corn, cherries and berries. What was there left to do? I looked through the local market and saw these beautiful plums. I didn't know exactly where it was all going, but I knew I didn't want to do a cake. Been there, done that. Poached? Eh. Not really doing it for me. Ok, so cooked and then turned into something. A soup. Cold. That's summer, but then, maybe, just a little hit of fall flavors. Cinnamon and ginger. This is one of those dishes I knew was going to work as soon as I smelled it cooking. Our whole house filled with the aromas that I find so comforting in the cooler months, and, yet, here we are with a chilled soup to enjoy during these last hot and humid days of summer.
Yogurt makes for the ideal garnish for a sweet soup like this, which needs a bit of tang to balance it out. In recent months, I've really grown to appreciate all the ways one can apply yogurt to a dish. For those interested in such a subject (believe me, I wasn't at first, but now I'm hooked), my friend, fellow blogger, and cookbook author, Cheryl Sternman Rule, recently came out with Yogurt Culture. Just flipping through the book will have you rushing to the store to pick up a container.
Chilled Plum Soup
Yield 4 servings
1 1/2 lbs red or black plums (about 8), cut in half and pitted
1 cup apple juice
1 tablespoon ginger, peeled and sliced into chunks
1 cinnamon stick
1 tablespoon agave
1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon tarragon leaves
Yogurt, for serving
1. Place plums into a pot with apple juice, ginger, cinnamon sticks, tarragon agave and salt. Bring to a boil and then cover and reduce heat to low. Cook for 20 minutes or until plums are very soft. Discard cinnamon stick.
3. Transfer to a container and refrigerate until chilled, about 1 hour. Ladle into bowls and serve with a dollop of yogurt.