Mormon Foods of the Old West: Fruit Soup

Founded in 1830, Mormonism has been a powerful force in bringing many people to the West. The ten companies of saints – as Mormons were commonly called in the old West – traveled the handcart route between 1856 and 1860. With them, they brought a variety of different recipes and cooking techniques. In later years, Mormon cooking recognized its culinary heritage as coming from New England, the British Isles, Scandinavia and Switzerland. Old Mormon recipes were adapted for the foods found in the West. One dish in particular is Fruit Soup, based on an original recipe from Scandinavia. Make the popular dish for your next house guests and serve it as an appetizer before your meal or afterwards for dessert.

Fruit Soup

What you’ll need: (Serves 12 to 14)

  • ½ lb. raisins
  • ½ lb. prunes
  • ½ lb. currants
  • ¼ lb. raspberries
  • 3 tart apples, such as Granny Smith, cored and chopped
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 8 c. water
  • 4 tbsp. sugar (optional)
  • 1 ½ tsp. cornstarch

In a large pot, mix the raisins, prunes, currants, raspberries, apples, lemon juice and cinnamon stick with the water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 45 minutes, or until the fruit is softened. Add sugar (if preferred) and remove the cinnamon stick.

Mix the cornstarch with a little water to make slurry; add to soup. Cook the soup for 4 minutes, stirring to thicken. Serve the soup hot or chilled.