Chilled Cherry-Plum Soup

Adapted from The New Enchanted Broccoli Forest
Preparation Time: About 20 minutes to prepare, plus time to simmer and chill.
Yield: 5 to 6 servings

Brace yourself for a stunningly colorful soup!
You can make this up to a day in advance. The seasonings intensify the longer it sits.

NOTE: Frozen cherries work very well here. The bonus is that they come already pitted. Defrost them first, and use about 3 cups.

1 1/2 pounds ripe red or purple plums
1 pound pitted dark sweet cherries
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup orange juice
1 tablespoon minced or grated fresh ginger
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 to 2 tablespoons honey (to taste)
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
2 cups buttermilk or yogurt

A drizzle of buttermilk
Fresh mint leaves, torn or minced
Thin slices of kiwifruit
  1. Pit and coarsely chop the plums. Place them in a medium-sized saucepan with the cherries, salt, and orange juice. Heat to boiling, then turn the heat down to very low. Cover and simmer about 5 minutes.
  2. Add ginger and mustard. Cover and simmer 15 minutes longer.
  3. Remove from heat; stir in honey and orange zest. Let cool to room temperature, then puree in a blender or food processor. Transfer to a container with a tight-fitting lid, cover, and chill until very cold.
  4. Whisk in the buttermilk or yogurt just before serving. Top each bowlful with a swirl of extra buttermilk, a scattering of fresh mint leaves, and thin slices of kiwifruit.
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