Encounters arranged by destiny and plum cream soup

plum cream soup from the Taste of Memories Hungarian country kitchen www.tasteofmemories.com

I am standing at the kitchen counter pitting plums for a cream soup that I wanted to cook for you this week. Yesterday I have already tested a version, but I was excited about further experimenting. Today I will add some apples that I got from Hédi, a friend from the village, and I will press the soup through a sieve before I add greek yoghurt. The idea of a plum soup originates from Mária, who I met at the Dezső Lackó Museum when Taste of Memories blog stepped out from virtuality for an afternoon in a form of picnic.plum cream soup from the Taste of Memories Hungarian country kitchen www.tasteofmemories.com

Meeting Maria was most probably one of those encounters which seem to be arranged by destiny in advance. At the time we were desperately seeking for an architect, it popped into my mother’s mind that Mária worked in an architect office and she might help. And she did. So happened that Mr. G. appeared in our life as a miracle who shared our respect and love for the little old house and who dreamed and designed the new version of it where we are living our life and I am cooking the plum soup right now. While I put pan on the stove I am wondering in what extent do we realise the impact of an act, a commitment, a decision or a helping hand and what an avalanche it could be in an another person’s life. Most probably neither Mr. G. nor Mária suspects what a great treasure it is for us to get to know them and the fact that by their seemingly ordinary acts they changed our life.

Since the picnic we keep in touch with Mária, but we meet regularly since we moved back to our house. The 40 years difference in age that we have even connect us more than it would separate. 

We are both passionate about cooking, gardening and are interested in everything in connection with herbs. We eat, laugh and dig out oregano, plantain, lemon balm and wild strawberries in her garden to transfer them to ours. She inspires me, gives me ideas and supplies me with the relevant books in all kinds of subject from her library which resembles the variety and richness of a public library. 

‘How do you know all these…?’, I am asking her amazed when she tells me the names of the herbs by heart and tells recipes and kitchen tips that I have never heard about. 

‘ Well, I have a few years advantage’, she smiles and continues generously sharing her knowledge with me. After eating the second portion of her plum soup I decide to cook it myself on the blog but in form of a cream soup. The recipe is based on my mother’s fruit soup recipe but I add greek yoghurt to thicken instead of sour cream or cream and decorate with cooked plums as Mária did. 

I go the market early in the morning and I enjoy the beautiful autumn colours. I cannot resist to buy things of similar colours (well, this is one of those craziness of an artist) : dark purple eggplants and unique violet peppers from the village Csór and blue grape from Balatonfüred which create a perfect harmony with the plums in my basket. The idea of the plum soup is already born and I almost hear the other ingredients whispering from the basket and telling me what to cook with them…plum cream soup from the Taste of Memories Hungarian country kitchen www.tasteofmemories.complum cream soup from the Taste of Memories Hungarian country kitchen www.tasteofmemories.complum cream soup from the Taste of Memories Hungarian country kitchen www.tasteofmemories.complum cream soup from the Taste of Memories Hungarian country kitchen www.tasteofmemories.com

Plum cream soup

500 g plum

2 apples (ca. 200 g)

80 g caster sugar

as much water that it covers fruits (approximately 650 ml) 

4-5 cloves

1 little piece of cinnamon stick

1 little piece of vanilla bean (optional)

2 teaspoons flour

1 instant vanilla pudding powder

150 ml greek yoghurt

1 juice of a lemon

Cut plums crosswise, remove seeds. Pit and peel apples. Add both alongside with the sugar, water and spices into a pan. In order to easily remove spices I put them into a tea ball that I inherited from my grandmother. Cook for 5-8 minutes after it starts boiling, then remove tea ball and a few pieces of plums for decoration. Puree with a hand blender, press through a sieve; return to the pan. Mix yoghurt, vanilla pudding powder and flour until all crumbs have dissolved. Add a spoonful of soup into it in order to reach similar temperature than pour it into the soup while stirring continuously. Cook for a couple of minutes until it thickens a little bit. Remove from heat and add the juice of the lemon so you will get a beautiful pink colour. plum cream soup from the Taste of Memories Hungarian country kitchen www.tasteofmemories.complum cream soup from the Taste of Memories Hungarian country kitchen www.tasteofmemories.complum cream soup from the Taste of Memories Hungarian country kitchen www.tasteofmemories.com

Judit Neubauer

Judit Neubauer

Judit Neubauer is a food photographer, chef and writer living in a small village in Northwestern Hungary. Her bilingual blog, Taste of Memories is about life in the Hungarian countryside. While she is bringing new life into the 90 year-old house and orchard of 18 fruit trees she cooks and bakes her family’s old recipes and tries to preserve traditions and old knowledge about how to live in rhythm and harmony with nature.

2018-08-30

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