Chisăliță – Romanian plum soup

Chisăliță is a Romanian plum soup usually served over a piece of bread or polenta. It is similar to stewed plums, just that you don’t need to put sugar – at all, or a teaspoon of honey is enough. In some regions of the country, we use cherries or sour cherries to make this. In Transylvania we use plums but don’t get me wrong, this is a dish without borders.

 

You can stew the plums and then serve as they are, or put them through a sieve, then thicken the soup with polenta flour (cornmeal). You can serve it for lunch or as a dessert – we very often eat fruit compotes with bread.

 

My grandmother in Transylvania liked the easy version and didn’t put the plums through a sieve. She poured the soup on top of eggy bread. I’ve added some black cardamom to these and they have a light smokey flavour.

 

Ingredients:

500g plums

1l water

1tsp honey – optional, but try without first, see how you like it

2 black cardamon pods – take the seeds out of the pods and grind them in a pestle and mortar

 

For the eggy bread:

A couple of slices of good sourdough or cornbread

1 egg – beaten mixed with

1tbsp milk

Icing sugar to dust

 

Method:

Cut the plums in half and put in the pan together with the water. Bring to the boil, then lower the heat, add the cardamon and simmer until they become very soft, almost to the point where you can mashed them if you’d like.

 

If you want the smooth version, you can put them through a sieve then return the sauce to the pan. Add 1 tbsp of cornmeal (polenta flour) and stir for 2-3 minutes, until it thickens.

 

In the meantime, make the eggy bread by dipping the slices into the egg mixture. Heat some oil in a shallow pan and fry the bread on both sides until golden. Set aside on a paper towel. Just before serving, dust with icing sugar (it doesn’t matter if it melts, the flavour will be there)

 

Serve the ‘chisalita’ on top of the bread, or slice the bread in little triangles and dip them in the sauce.