Meggyleves (Sour Cherry Soup)
(Pronunciation: “Medj Leh-vesh”)
A very light but sweet fruit soup, common in Hungary, usually served chilled as an appetizer or a quick dessert especially during the summer when fresh sour cherries are abound~! As such, it is “customary that the soup contain fresh sour cherries” according to Wikipedia… but if you live outside of Europe and/or simply don’t have access to fresh sour cherries, you can use canned or frozen sour cherries for this, no problem. (´･ω･`) (You can also use normal cherries, but then it wouldn’t be meggyleves, it’d be cseresznyeleves…)
It’s actually pretty common in Hungary to cook this outside of summer using canned sour cherries. You know, the ones that come in those jars with that pink syrup imported from Poland? Yeah, look for that next time you go grocery shopping. (◕‿◕✿)
If you’re using fresh or frozen sour cherries, you’ll probably do around 150g, pitted, per person. And please, pit them beforehand, don’t be mean to your guests… or to yourself if you’re just cooking for yourself. Yes, be nice to yourself too!!! ＼(＾O＾)／
The traditional flavourings/spices for this are cinnamon sticks, cloves, and lemon. I usually don’t put lemon in mine, but you can add in a few slices of lemon if you want and take them out at the end along with the cinnamon sticks and cloves.
Ingredients per serving
150g sour cherries*
1 cup water**
1 tbsp granulated sugar***
1 heap tbsp sour cream
1 tsp flour
1/2 stick of cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
(optional) 1 tbsp sweet wine (red or white)
1. Bring a saucepan containing your water and sour cherries or a portion of your canned sour cherries along with the cloves and cinnamon sticks with a pinch of salt to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook stirring occasionally for about 5 minutes.
2. Remove from heat, let it cool. In a small bowl, whisk together your flour and sour cream and add 1 spoon of the broth from your soup at a time to the bowl, and stir until it is fully mixed before adding the next spoonful. Keep adding more liquid until the mixture is very thin and there are no lumps of flour or sour cream floating around****.
3. Once your soup has cooled down a little bit, remove the cinnamon and cloves and slowly pour in your sour cream mixture and stir until it is evenly mixed. You may also stir in some wine at this point.
4. Put the saucepan in the freezer for 20 minutes or so, or in the fridge for a little longer and serve chilled. It will thicken slightly as it chills. Top with more sour cream, sugar to taste, or even whipped cream if desired! (´･ω･`)
*This kind of depends. If you’re using fresh or frozen sour cherries, measure out 150g pitted weight per person. If you’re doing this from canned sour cherries like I usually do, just pour a portion into a bowl (with the liquid) before pouring it into your saucepan, to see how many bowls you’ll be able to fill. Each bowl will serve 1 person, and one 796ml jar should yield about 4 servings. Remember, this is an appetizer or a dessert, not a main course. It’s supposed to be light! ⊂((・▽・))⊃
**Fresh or frozen: 1 cup water per person usually does the trick. For canned, just follow the instructions for the previous note.
***You may or may not need sugar if you’re using canned sour cherries with liquid that already contains sugar. But for fresh/frozen sour cherries, I usually do about 1 tbsp per person. Taste and adjust according to preference, as always.
****This is done to sort of “temper” the sour cream so it doesn’t curdle when it hits the hot liquid, as sour cream tends to do. It may be a good idea to cool the soup a little before adding the broth to the sour cream mixture. You may even be tempted to chill it in the fridge before adding in the sour cream, which would minimize the chances of your sour cream curdling.
And yes, you want to serve this chilled. It honestly doesn’t taste very good warm. (*ノ・ω・）
So be patient…
And yes, you can use fresh cream and forget about the whole sour cream tempering thing. Fresh cream is just rarely on my shopping list, and it’s not very common in Hungary either. (Plus sour cream is the most delicious thing in the world so I’d use it over fresh cream anyway.)