Bringing Back an Almost Extinct Classic: The Fruit Soup (Fruktsuppe)

Jan 22, 2016

Fruktsuppe, sometimes labeled as “Grandma’s favorite dessert” is hard to come by on a menu in Norway today, the tradition seem to have slowly faded away.  Along with prune porridge,  fruit soup is considered a dying dish in Norwegian cuisine.  But according to Norwegian gourmet food magazine, Aperitif, this classic was a regular dessert on Norwegian tables at least once a week as late as the 1960s during the winter months. This was a time when fresh fruits was a luxury – oranges were reserved for Christmas and Easter, and a banana here and there along with an old, wrinkly apple…
Because of the above, fruit soup was traditionally made from dried fruit, and not fresh, although damaged or bruised fruit could be used in the soup as well. These days, when you see fruit soup being served, most likely it will be made from fresh fruit, as we have an abundance of that today.  For the purpose of reliving the good old times, I’ve chosen to include a recipe using dried fruit.
driedapricots
Fruit soup is sometimes also served with Norwegian “pannekaker”, the crepe like, slightly sweet traditional pancakes we still enjoy very much today.
Here are some ideas for dried fruit you can use:
driedfruit
Hope you will try this almost extinct soup recipe – it makes for a hearty, refreshing and somewhat healthy dessert that is easy to whip up even on a weekday night!
FRUKTSUPPE
adapted from aperitif.no
200 grams (1 cup)  assorted dried fruit (mango, apricots, papaya, prunes, dried apples, oranges, golden raisins)
1 quart (1 liter) water
2- 3 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp potato starch (or corn starch, you can also use arrowroot)
juice of 1/2 fresh lemon
(optional: Add a cinnamon stick or some whole cardamom, cloves and star anise for additional flavors, and strain them out before pureeing).
Rinse the dried fruit and let it soften in water for about 20 minutes.  Dice them up into 1/2 inch pieces.  Bring the water up to a boil in a medium pot, and add the fruit pieces. Let them simmer for 10 minutes.  Dissolve the potato/corn starch in a little cold water (about 3 tbsp) –  and whisk into soup.  Bring to a boil and add the fresh lemon juice. Let cool.
Pour the soup into a blender and puree until smoooth.  Serve in bowls with a dollop of sour cream on top or mascarpone and some sliced almonds.    Serves 4.
(To learn how to make vegan sour cream click HERE, and for a vegan recipe for mascarpone click HERE).
fruktsuppematno
Image from mat.no

15 Comments

  1. So is it served at room temperature or chilled like a pudding? I love prune porridge, my grandmother used to make it so I guess that fits. 🙂

    Reply
    • Hi Kirsten! Yes, it’s served chilled /room temp, but I bet it would taste nice warm too! Hope you will try it out!! 🙂

      Reply
  2. My Mother made two different versions — one with prunes, raisins, and pearl (sago) tapioca (like the sago used in Japanese bubble tea) and the second with apples and pearl (sago) tapioca. She always made the prune one at Christmas (She even sent her recipe to Campbell Soup where my Father worked for over 30 years and it was made as a limited edition, sold mainly in the upper Mid-West for a couple of years)
    The one thing that she did was add lots of port wine to the finished prune/raisin one that was served to adults. She would fill Mason jars and give the soup to special people as a part of our Christmas gifts — mainly our Scandinavian friends who appreciated it.
    My Scottish Father loved it as did all of us children. Have had it straight from the soup pot to ice cold out of the refrigerator. Even had it for breakfast!!

    Reply
    • So interesting to hear, Karen – thank you for sharing these wonderful memories! I love your mother’s idea of adding port wine for the adult, my kind of girl!! I love reading about how Norwegian traditions made it cross oceans and are still alive today. Thank you again for being such a wonderful supporter of my blog and FB page and for adding to this community! <3

      Reply
  3. Hi Sunny,
    I loved your article about ‘fruktsuppe’. One of the benefits of being born to immigrants from Norway is that I grew up on food that continues to evoke wonderful memories of Norwegian cuisine, hospitality and culture. I just made fruit soup (dried fruit, golden raisins, fresh apples and lemon slices, apple cider/water, tapioca, and cinnamon sticks) around Christmas time and served it to some friends who all thought it strange, but loved the flavor and ‘silky’ consistency. Other favorites were prune or apricot whip that ‘Tante Ingeborg’ made for holiday desserts. Thanks for putting recipes for this wholesome and good food out there for others to enjoy.
    Hilsen fra,
    Nadine Revheim

    Reply
    • Hi Nadine! Thank you so much for stopping by my blog and for your comment! Love to hear that you made fruktsuppe during the holidays! And your aunt shares the same name as my mom – she is Ingeborg too! I dont’ meet too many Ingeborgs, so that was a funny coincidence! Glad you liked the blog post, and hope you’ll continue to stop by… If you haven’t liked my FB page yet, check out http://facebook.com/forkandglass where I post daily about all things Norwegian! Have a great weekend! Sunny 🙂

      Reply
  4. Oh my! Such memories! Having grown up in the little Norwegian settlement of Westby, WI, this was a staple in my maternal Grandmother’s pantry all winter long. She would can it and occasionally add blackberry wine for the adults. It was also a staple of the little Norwegian inspired restaurant called “Borgen’s”. This little cafe has changed hands several times and though it still serves some traditional Norwegian fare, it hasn’t served fruit soup for years.

    Reply
  5. I’m loving these recipes. I make fruit soup as a pick me up here in New Zealand. I use tapioca as thickening and always put a cinnamon stick in and usually raspberry jam.

    Reply
    • Hi Jo – so happy you stopped by and that you are liking my recipes!! I use tapioca as a thickener as well sometimes, and adding a cinnamon stick sounds lovely! Thanks again for visiting my blog and hope you will continue to check in!! 🙂

      Reply
  6. A so unusual recipe for me so I had to try it out! MMMM! 🙂

    Reply
    • Awesome Sophie!! Yay!! 🙂

      Reply
  7. My grandmother was from far north Russia, near Finland, and she made this fruit dessert. Mostly dried prunes, apricots, apples, raisins, cornstarch and a cinnamon stick. Just cut up into pieces, not blenderized. Thanks for reminding me of this healthy dish. Will have to make some now.

    Reply
    • Great to hear you found some memories in this recipe, Irene – that is why I started my blog! Happy cooking and thanks for your comment! Sunny

      Reply
  8. My wife and I went up north to Isle Royale National Park in Lake Superior (US) for a vacation a few years ago. Along the way we stopped at a place that had hot fruit soup. I’d never heard of it before but it was fantastic. I’ve still never tried to make it myself, but have mentioned it many times to people during random food discussions and nobody around here has ever heard of it. So thanks for this article… I might finally attempt it!

    (Also, I’m not affiliated with them in any way, but this place..)

    https://www.northernlightsroadhouse.com/menu-1

    Reply
    • So glad you enjoyed my blog post and thanks for sharing your story! I definitely hope you will try to make it, and if you do, let us know how it goes! There are so many versions of it, and I’m sure you can play around with it a little as you go… Happy cooking! 🙂

      Reply

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  1. Old-School Norwegian Prune Porridge (Sviskegrøt) - Outside Oslo - […] of the past, “a dying dish in Norwegian cuisine,” writes Sunny Gandara of the blog Arctic Grub. But it’s deliciously retro,…

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