International Recipes and Cooking Around the World


Meggyleves (Hungarian sour cherry soup)

(Hungarian sour cherry soup)

Image by Heather Copwer

Average: 4.6 (10 votes)

Sour cherry soup is enjoyed by Hungarian families as cherries come into season in late spring and early summer. Each family has its own favorite recipe. Also known as meggykeszőce.

4 to 6 servings


  • Water -- 4 cups
  • Sugar -- 1 cup
  • Cinnamon stick -- 1
  • Sour cherries, pitted -- 4 cups
  • Salt -- pinch
  • Water -- 2 tablespoons
  • Cornstarch or arrowroot -- 1 tablespoon
  • Cream -- 1/4 cup


  1. In a large saucepan, bring the 4 cups of water, sugar and cinnamon stick to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring to dissolve the sugar for 2 to 3 minutes.
  2. Add the cherries and a pinch of salt and simmer for another 30 to 40 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the cinnamon stick.
  3. Stir the cornstarch into the 2 tablespoons of water and then quickly whisk the slurry into the simmering cherries. Simmer for another 2 to 3 minutes to thicken the soup a little.
  4. Remove the soup from heat and set aside to cool down a bit. Then place the soup into the refrigerator to chill thoroughly.
  5. Just before serving, stir in the cream, then ladle into individual bowls and serve.

Meggyleves Variations

  • To use sour cream instead of sweet cream, eliminate the cornstarch slurry and stir 2 tablespoons of flour into 3/4 cup sour cream. Whisk a little of the simmering soup into the sour cream, then whisk the sour cream into the soup. Simmer for another 5 minutes and chill.
  • If you use canned sour cherries, reduce cooking time to 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Stir in 1/2 cup of chilled red wine (preferably Hungarian), rosé wine or dry sherry with the cream.
  • To add even more flavor, save the cherry pits. Wrap them in a towel and pound with a hammer to crack them. Tie them up in a piece of cheesecloth and simmer along with the cherries. Remove along with the cinnamon stick.
  • Try using strawberries instead of cherries. Adjust the sugar down a little.
  • Garnish each bowl with some whipped cream for an extra-special touch.


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