Plum and Cherry Soup

An Israeli recipe, Plum and Cherry Soup makes a light and delicious first course for a summer meal. It is traditionally served chilled with sour cream and garnished with fresh mint sprigs.

1 lb. plums, halved and stoned

8 oz. pears, halved and cored

10 oz. cherries, halved and stoned

2 oz. sugar

½ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon juice and finely grated rind of

1 lemon pints water

1 teaspoon cornflour

Place the fruit in a large saucepan. Add the sugar, salt, cinnamon and lemon juice and rind. Pour in the water and bring the mixture to the boil over high heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pan and cook the fruit for 10 to 15 minutes or until it is tender.

Remove the pan from the heat. Strain the contents of the pan into a large bowl, rubbing the fruit through the strainer with the back of a wooden spoon. Discard any pulp remaining in the strainer.

Return the soup to the pan. In a small mixing bowl, mix the cornflour with 2 tablespoons of the soup. Add it, a little at a time, to the soup, stirring constantly. Place the pan over high heat and bring to the boil, stirring constantly.

Reduce the heat to moderate and cook for a further 5 to 8 minutes or until the soup is smooth and has thickened slightly.

Taste the soup and add more sugar if necessary.

Remove the pan from the heat. Pour the soup into a large serving bowl and set it aside at room temperature to cool. When it is cool, cover the bowl and place it in the refrigerator to chill for 1 hour before serving.

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