Scandinavian dried fruit soup is a dessert soup made with dried fruits and traditionally served cold, although it may be served hot as well. This soup is a common offering during the winter holidays, when people may be feeling a hankering for fruit, and it can also be served in the summer, when cold soups can be very refreshing. In areas with a Scandinavian community, this soup may be on offer at local restaurants and pot lucks, but it can also be made at home.
To make Scandinavian dried fruit soup, cooks chop dried fruits such as raisins, prunes, apricots, pineapples, and so forth, cover them in water, and then bring the mixture to a boil before bringing it back to a low simmer. The cooking plumps up the fruit, rehydrating and softening it. Spices such as cinnamon sticks are usually added, along with lemon or orange zest and juice, and some cooks also add alcohol like rum or brandy to the soup. Fruktsoppa, as it is known, benefits from long, slow cooking, which is one of the reasons it makes a great winter soup, because it warms the house while filling the air with the smell of fruit.
Once the fruit has been thoroughly cooked and the soup has rested to allow the flavors to blend, the soup may be served hot or chilled. Garnishes such as yogurt, sour cream, or vanilla ice cream are often added to Scandinavian dried fruit soup at the table, giving it a rich, creamy flavor, but the soup can also be served plain, or garnished with candied orange rinds, grated nutmeg, or other semi-sweet ingredients.
Depending on the taste of the cook, sugar may be added to Scandinavian dried fruit soup, or the natural sweetness of the fruit may be considered enough. Some cooks add honey, desiring a sweet flavor without the sometimes cloying taste of added refined sugar. As a general rule, it's good to check the soup before sweetening, to confirm that the soup really does need some added sugar.
There are also some variants on Scandinavian dried fruit soup. For example, tapioca pearls can be added to the soup for additional texture, and to vary the appearance. The soup can also be pureed to smooth the texture, and some cooks also like to add fresh fruits like tart winter apples. The imagination is really the only limit when assembling this old-fashioned soup.