This Hungarian recipe for sour cherry soup goes by many names -- meggy leves, cseresznye leves, meggykeszoce, cibere -- and its sweetness varies with the cook. It's typically served cold in the summer when cherries are plentiful.
This soup is traditionally made with tart dark-red Morello cherries, but any tart pie cherry, like fire-engine-red Montmorency cherries, will work in a pinch, as long as they are fresh or at the very least frozen. (Don't use canned.) Never use a sweet Bing cherry. Some recipes call for cinnamon and cloves, with the cherries are left unpitted.
- 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 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.