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Hungarian Tidbits

Hungarian Chilled Sour Cherry Soup – Hideg Meggyleves

Hungarian Cold Cherry Soup

One of the nicest things to offer on hot summer days. This light sour-sweet soup is served very cold as a starter. Made with sour cherries not the sweet cherry variety and is incredibly refreshing in the heat. When I visited my family in the summer, discovered a little tree that grew in secret at the back of the house, so quickly made the most out of the lovely fruits that were in their prime. If no secret tree or fresh sour cherries around, the recipe works well with the frozen fruit too.

Ingredients (4-6 portions)

  • 1000 gram (2.2 lb) sour cherry, pitted
  • 200 ml (0.85 cups) single cream
  • 200 ml (0.85 cups) water
  • 2 slices of lemon with rind on
  • 1 or 2 tablespoons of sugar to taste
  • 1 pinch of cinnamon powder or a small piece of cinnamon bark
  • 1-2 cloves in whole
  • small pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of plain flour or corn starch for thickening the soup
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract, or vanilla seeds

How to make

  1. Cover the pitted cherries with the water
  2. Add the sugar, 2 lemon slices, cinnamon, little salt and the vanilla extract if using
  3. Bring to the boil and cook for 2-3 minutes
  4. Mix the flour with a little cream and gradually add the rest of the cream to get a smooth consistency, ladle in a little of the hot liquid from the cherries, stir to combine evenly.
  5. Slowly pour the cream and flour mixture into the soup while stirring
  6. Bring back up to boiling point whilst stirring, then simmer for  half a minute or so until the soup slightly thickens, no need to boil further.
  7. Set aside to cool, when cold discard the lemon slices as the rind can get a bit bitter if left in there too long.
  8. You can leave the cloves and cinnamon bark (if using) for longer, but discard before serving.
  9. Refrigerate, best to leave overnight and eat chilled the next day.
Sour Cherry Tree
The cherry tree!

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