Summer Fruit Soup
Chef John Neal’s dessert is a cross between English summer pudding, a molded dessert of bread and fresh berries, and Scandinavian fruit soup, cooked fruit puree served hot or cold. Neal’s recipe has the bread of summer pudding and the simplicity of fruit soup. The prunes help to thicken the soup and to flavor the wine.
- Hearty Red Wine - 1 bottle
- Sugar - 1 cup, plus sugar to taste
- Ground cinnamon - 2 tablespoons
- Pure Vanilla Extract - 2 tablespoons
- Pitted Prunes - 1 cup
- Heavy (whipping) cream - 1 cup
- Sugar to taste
- Dense White French or Italian Bread - 4 slices, crust removed
- Mixed fresh berries for garnish
- Mint sprigs - 4
Combine the wine, the cup of sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, and prunes in a large non-aluminum saucepan and simmer over low heat for 1 hour. Cover and let sit overnight. In a deep, small bowl, beat the cream until soft peaks form. Beat in sugar to taste. Place a slice of bread in the center of each of 4 shallow-rimmed soup bowls. Ladle the prunes and syrup over the bread. Dollop the bread with whipped cream. Garnish with fresh berries and mint. Serve cold.