Last week I got an “urgent” phone call from my Japanese sister-in-law, she wanted to spoil my brother with some typical Hungarian soup so that she asked the recipe of the delicious cherry soup what she ate in Hungary last summer. -You know in Tokyo we are in the cherry season now!-she added. Meanwhile I was writing down my favorite cherry soup recipe for her I remembered that it was a scorching hot summer day when we had a kind of family reunion and as an appetizer I prepared a typical Hungarian cherry soup with whipped cream and sour cream mixture on the top. According to all it was godlike-ambrosial!
This Hungarian recipe for sour cherry soup goes by many names such as –meggy leves (morello or tart cherry soup), cseresznye leves (cherry soup), cibere-and its sweetness varies with the cook. It’s typically served cold in the summer topped with cream or sour cream when cherries are plentiful.
You can also make soup from other fruits such as peaches, apples, plum, gooseberry (in summer my grandma always cooked plum and gooseberry soup instead of cherry) adding water, lemon or orange juice and on the top of that you can flavor with vanilla pod or even with Porto wine or with some sweet liqueur.
But this soup recipe is traditionally made with tart dark Morello cherries, but any tart pie cherry will work in a pinch, as long as they are fresh or at the very least frozen (but never use canned). Some recipes call for cinnamon and cloves (I always use them), and the cherries are left unpitted (But it can turn into a disaster so please unpit the cherry)!
Makes 6 servings
Preparation time: 10 minutes, Cooking time: 20 minutes, Total time: 30 minutes
Ingredients: 6 cups water, 1 pound fresh sour cherries, pitted, 3/4 cup sugar, 1 cup sour cream, 2 tablespoons flour, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon confectioners’ sugar
- In a large saucepan, cook cherries with water and 3/4 cup sugar until done, about 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, mix sour cream with flour, salt and confectioners’ sugar until smooth.
- When cherries are done, temper the sour cream mixture with a few ladles of hot cherry liquid, whisking until smooth. Transfer to the pan with the cherries and whisk again until smooth. Simmer 5 minutes, but do not boil.
- Cool to room temperature in an ice water bath. Place plastic wrap directly on the surface of the soup (so a skin doesn’t form) and refrigerate until cold. Serve cold as a first course as they do in Hungary or as a dessert with a dollop of sour cream or whipped cream.