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Hungarian Cherry Soup

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Serves: 6
1 kg / 2 1/4 lb fresh, frozen or canned sour cherries, such as Morello or
Montmorency, pitted
250ml / 8 fl oz water
175-250g / 6-9 oz sugar, to taste
1-2 cinnamon sticks, each about 5cm / 2in long
750ml / 1 1/4 pints dry red wine
5ml / 1 tsp almond essence (extract), or to taste
250ml / 8 fl oz single (light) cream
250ml / 8 fl oz sour cream or creme fraiche

Put the pitted cherries, water, sugar, cinnamon and wine in a large pan. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes, until the cherries are tender. Remove from the heat and add the almond essence.

In a bowl, stir a few tablespoons of single cream into the sour cream or creme fraiche to thin it down, then stir in the rest until the mixture is smooth. Stir the mixture into the cherry soup, then chill until ready to serve.

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