January is a month many of us, resolutions or not, look to lighter dishes to replace the holiday indulgences of the past few weeks. But that doesn't mean we have to give up any sweet finales to our meals. This dessert soup features the sweet perfume of plums, tempered with a touch of cinnamon and lemon. Caramelizing the plums brings out their inherent sweetness and adds a robust note to the dish. Serve plain or top with a dollop of sweetened mascarpone.
6 plums; sliced lengthwise
3/4 cup granulated sugar; divided
1 cinnamon stick
2 slices lemon peel
2 cups water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons lemon juice
Toss plum slices and 1/4 cup granulated sugar together. Caramelize plum slices in a preheated pan set over medium high heat for about 1 minute on each side. Set aside 8 plum slices for serving.
Add water to the pan along with remaining granulated sugar, the cinnamon stick and lemon peels. Bring to a boil and simmer 15 minutes until the plums are soft. Set aside to cool.
Strain through cheesecloth. Discard solids.
Stir in vanilla and lemon juice. Refrigerate and serve chilled with reserved caramelized plums.
(Images: Rebekah Peppler)