Hungarian Cherry Soup Served with Sparkling Wine
This amazing soup has graced my family table for years. In Eastern Europe, fruit soups are quite common and this cherry variation has always been my favorite. This recipe was passed down from my Hungarian grandmother, and my brother would be disappointed if he sat down to a holiday meal and this dish was not served. The jarred sour cherries required for this recipe used to be a lot harder to find, but now you can spot them in most large chain grocery stores. If they are not carried in yours, try a European specialty market. Served as a first course alongside a glass of a dry sparkling wine, I am sure this surprisingly delicious soup will be a tradition at your table for years to come.
3 24oz jars sour cherry compote, juice reserved to make 1 quart. If juice does not fill 1 quart, add cold water to make the quart.
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup cold water
1/4 cup flour
3 egg yolks, beaten lightly
1 cup dairy sour cream
Begin by heating the cherry juice in a stock pot until it comes to a boil. Then add in your cherries.
Add your sugar and salt, stirring to combine. Continue cooking for 2-3 minutes on medium heat.
Whisk your water and flour together to make a smooth liquid until the flour is dissolved. Slowly pour this into the pot and stir until combined.
Temper your egg yolks by adding a little of the hot broth from the soup. Whisk that into the eggs to blend. Then slowly add and stir to incorporate the tempered eggs into the soup. Do not add the egg yolks directly to the soup without tempering first — you want them to blend evenly, not cook.
Once the eggs are mixed into the soup it will began to thicken and take on a rich, warm color. Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly.
Remove the soup from the heat and temper the sour cream just like we did with the eggs, by slowly adding a little cooking liquid and stirring it until thinned and smooth.
Slowly pour sour cream mixture into soup while stirring, to blend and thicken.
Your soup is now ready to be served warm, or you can put it into the refrigerator and serve it cold later. If serving cold, be sure to stir well before ladling into bowls.
There is always a debate in my family as to the preference of serving this soup warm or cold. My vote is always cold. Some like it warm straight from the pot and then cold as leftovers the next day. If you give it a try let me know your preference in the comments below. If you are looking for another Hungarian option, check out my spicy cauliflower soup.