Wallingford Plum Soup

We couldn’t stand it. Every day, we’d be out, strolling around the neighborhood, and there they were: two trees full of the brightest golden plums you’ve ever seen.  They ripened and ripened and eventually began to fall, big fat raindrop splashes of juicy plums, wasted windfall.

We admit it: we wanted them!

So this past Saturday, we got up our gumption and knocked on the door. Nobody was home, but we did notice a package waiting for pick-up, addressed to a player on Seattle’s elite ultimate frisbee team, Sockeye. A bit of detective work, an e-mail or two, and we had permission from Andrew to do some picking.

All the low-hanging fruit had been picked by other passersby, so, yesterday afternoon, the Wallyhood family loaded up a step-ladder on the top of the stroller and made our way up to 43rd and Thackeray for some harvesting.

The fruit was so ripe it often burst in our hands as we picked, but we managed to fish a good dozen or two out from the treetops (stopping, of course, to taste test several times).

But then, what to do with a dozen or two plums that were too ripe to keep? The fruit flies had already colonized our kitchen, so leaving them in a bowl was a non-starter.

Instead, we pitted them into a container and, for some reason, got it in our heads to make a cold plum soup.

The problem was that all the recipes we found for cold plum soup involved heavy doses of cinnamon, which just wasn’t sitting right with our palette. We wanted something lighter, more refreshing, like a cold cucumber soup. In our investigations, we found an interesting recipe for Fried Plum Raviolis with Mint Ice Cream, which gave us an idea: Cold Plum-Mint Soup.

Problem was, we had no mint. We’d just gotten a rooted clipping from Olivier and Isabel down the street, but we hadn’t even planted it yet.

Back to the neighborhood! We sent out a message over Twitter earlier this afternoon: “Wallyhood needs mint!”, and the offers from kindly neighbors flowed in. In the end, we loaded Baby Z into his bike trailer and headed down towards Bagley and 36th, where we paid a visit to Jay (senior moderator / social marketing man for local LOLZ sites I Can Has Cheezburger and FailBlog) and his garden. We clipped a few sprigs, plopped Baby Z back into his seat and headed home for recipe making.

Our expertise on the Interwebs far surpasses our expertise in the kitchen, unfortunately (or, at least, Mr. Wallyhood’s expertise in the kitchen), so we can’t make any claims to have created something great. Here’s what we tried:

  • 1½ c plums
  • ½ c yogurt
  • 20 leaves mint
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice 1 / tablespoon lime juice

We steeped the mint in a small bit of hot water to draw the flavor out, then poured the tea, with the other ingredients, into a blender.

Excellent, we thought, but not really soup. More like a mint plum lassi. We experimented with adding a bit of orange juice, but that left it tasting too much like a smoothie. Water enhanced the lassi-ness. As of this report, it’s in the freezer, waiting to try its hand at being a dessert.

No matter what ingredients we added, though, it tasted a whole lot like Wallingford: sweet.

Thanks Andrew and Jay!

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