A friend hosted a lunch for a small group of environmentalists attending a conference. She served a cold plum soup as the first course for the lunch in her home in the Indiana Dunes. I swooned at the first taste of this tart sweet ruby-colored mixture. I went home and developed this recipe. I make this soup quite a bit, and serve it under the stars on summer nights. —jean linsner
Wash plums and cut each plum in half, discarding the pits.
Add cut plums to a large pot and add cold water to just cover the fruit.
Add the cinnamon sticks and pinch of salt.
Add up to one cup of red wine to the pot.
Cook the plum mixture over medium heat until the plums fall apart.
Allow the plum mixture to cool some. Remove the cinnamon sticks, and reserve. In batches, strain the plum soup into a clean pot using a fine mesh sieve. Stir the fruit solids vigorously to get out as much liquid as you can. Scrape the fruit from the bottom of the sieve and add to the pot. Discard the fruit solids remaining in the sieve.
Add 1/2 cup of sugar to the strained plum soup, stir to dissolve the sugar, and taste. Add up to one cup of sugar.
Return the cinnamon sticks to the soup and chill until cold. Serve the soup as is or gild the lily and add a dollop of sour cream.