(Hungarian sour cherry soup)
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
- 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.
- Add the cherries and a pinch of salt and simmer for another 30 to 40 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the cinnamon stick.
- 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.
- Remove the soup from heat and set aside to cool down a bit. Then place the soup into the refrigerator to chill thoroughly.
- Just before serving, stir in the cream, then ladle into individual bowls and serve
- 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.