Sunday, February 5, 2012

Dried Fruit Soup

The perfect Tu B'Shvat Soup!!
Happy Birthday Trees!! On the fifteenth day of the Hebrew month of Shevat we celebrate Tu B’Shvat – the birthday of the trees.   We celebrate by eating fruits that grow on trees, preferably those that grow in Israel.   Since Tu B’Shvat generally falls out in the middle of winter it’s often difficult to get good fresh fruits - so we stick with dried dates, figs, raisins and boksor (A.K.A carob)…although we’re still trying to figure out if there’s another way to eat the boksor aside from just sucking on it!  I designated my large boys in charge of the Tu B’Shvat fruit this year and I think they came up with the idea of lots of dried fruits along with fruit smoothies.  I’m looking forward to being surprised! 

My contribution to Tu B’Shvat this year is one of my favorite summer soups – Dried Fruit Soup.  Made from healthy dried fruits then chilled, it’s perfect for a summer meal when you prefer a cold, refreshing soup.  This soup is also great for Tu B’Shvat and winter time when it’s hard to get good in season fresh fruit – the dried fruit works really well.  This recipe is also incredibly simple to make with just 4 ingredients, and if you have extra less than stellar looking fresh fruit in your refrigerator (like those apples that no one will eat) you can peel and dice the fruit and toss it in too.  Simmering the soup for an hour rehydrates the dried fruit and concentrates the flavors of the fruit and flavored gelatin, with no additional sugar required.  (I know there’s sugar in the gelatin – you don’t need to add more sugar!).  I like to garnish this soup with a little (read: a lot) whipped cream to add some creaminess to the soup, aside from the fact that the cream is pretty tool!  Topped with additional fruit as a garnish, you’re Tu B’Shvat soup is good to go!

I’d love to hear about your additions to this recipe – please keep me posted!

Happy Birthday Trees!

Dried Fruit Soup
12           cups                   water
24           ounces                dried fruit assortment
3              3 ounce              packages raspberry gelatin
1              tablespoon         lemon juice
                                         additional peeled and cut up fresh fruit (optional)
Place all the ingredients in a large stock pot.  Bring to a boil over high heat.  Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 60 minutes.  Allow the soup to cool, then refrigerate for at least four hours until completely chilled.  Serve topped with optional whipped cream and additional fresh fruit if desired.

Note: For a less sweet soup use two packages of gelatin and 1 1/2 teaspoons of lemon juice.

All the ingredients...
 Add the fruit to the water...
(you can cut it up into smaller pieces if you like) 
 Add the gelatin - you can pick your 
favorite flavor!
 SO thick and pretty!
 Chill baby - then it's soup time!!

And the smoothies turned out great!!!  Thanks boys!!

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