Creamy Sour Cherry Soup with Roasted Almonds

Sour cherry soup, or meggyleves, is one of the most famous traditional Hungarian recipes, a staple of hot summers where this spiced, chilled fruit soup is served in shade after a morning by the pool.

There are dozens of varieties of this soup, and it took me years to find the ones that best suit my taste. Some recipes use flour, some pudding, some cream or milk. Some are sweet as cake, others are almost entirely sour. Then there are recipes that include all different kinds of fruits like raspberries, redcurrants (so good!), pears and apples. What I’m going to show you here contains only sour cherries and lemon.

I have two excellent recipes for this soup. One is made with red wine (I will post that recipe another time!), while the one I’m sharing with you today is a creamy, more classic variety. An excellent base to learn and then experiment on afterwards.

Time needed:

15 minutes to gather ingredients and boil them up.
10 minutes additional cooking.
1-2 hours to chill in fridge before serving.

For three servings, the ingredients needed are:

Between 350-500 grams of pitted sour cherries and their juice. Fresh or canned.
800ml water
2 tablespoons of sugar
5 pieces of clove
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 lemon’s juice and zest
2 packets of vanilla sugar
pinch of salt
1/2 packet of vanilla or white chocolate pudding powder
200ml of cream (főzőtejszin)
almond slices


1. I used a large jar of pitless sour cherries. When the cherries are in season, I obviously visit my aunt’s farm and pick them fresh, but jarred cherries are fine, too. Remove their seeds and pour them into a large pot along with 800ml of water.

2. Add in the sugar, the vanilla sugar (comes in packets in Hungary), the lemon juice and zest, the cinnamon, salt, and cloves. Heat the soup up until boiling and cook on medium heat for 10 minutes.

3. After 10 minutes, take out a few spoonfuls of the sour cherries and place them aside.

4. Turn the heat off the soup. With a handheld electric blender, carefully blend the cherries together. I partially cover the pot to prevent steaming soup from splashing everywhere.

5. After this, continue cooking the soup. In a small separate bowl, mix together the cream with half the bag of pudding powder until smooth. Today, I used the white chocolate flavor.

6. Slowly pour in the cream-pudding mix to the soup and cook for another 5 minutes or so, until it’s visibly a bit thicker. If you like your soup extra-creamy, you can use the entire bag of pudding powder instead of just half.

7. Toast some almonds in a pan, slice a lemon, and serve with the soup. I recommend waiting until the soup is cooled and refridgerated for 1-2 hours before serving in small bowls. However, it’s also fine hot. Enjoy!



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