When we started this journey through Jewish cooking I got this recipe by default. I was out of town for the birth of my granddaughter while Mel and Shankari got together to divide up the first group of recipes. No one wanted this recipe myself included. I don't like cold soup and especially fruit soups. So, it got pushed back to the back of the list.
This my last recipe from Marlena's Jewish Cooking. It has been quite an experience cooking through this cookbook. Through it I got to meet Marlena who is an absolutely wonderful person. I've learned to make the perfect Matzo ball, we got a write up in the Bee and we did a short segment on KCRA TV. Mel and Shankari and I shared a lot of good food and laughs about recipes and yes at times it got to be a chore. It is hard to cook a recipe once a week whether you want to or not. Trying to figure out when you have time to do it and planning around going out of town and different social engagements. I've have been amazed by the variety of foods from all over the world and I've learned a lot about the Jewish culture. Lastly I should never doubt Marlena's recipes..there have been a couple that I didn't care for but that's just personal taste. Her recipes are wonderful and everything was very good, so why haven't I learned to just go with her recipe and not doubt? This soup is good. Very good. I think the only thing I would change is to use regular cream rather than the half and half I used.
So- here is my last recipe.
HUNGARIAN CHERRY SOUP
21/4 lb fresh, frozen or canned sour cherries, pitted
1 C water
1 C sugar or to taste
1-2 cinnamon sticks
3 C red wine, I used Merlot since it has a cherry note to it
1 tsp almond extract or vanilla
1 C single light cream (half and half) but, I'd use cream
1 C sour cream or creme fraiche
Put the cherries, water, sugar, cinnamon and wine in a large pan. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes until the cherries are tender. Remove from heat and add the almond extract.
In a bowl, stir a small amount of cream into the sour cream to thin, then stir in the rest until the mixture is smooth. Stir the mixture into the soup then chill.
As I said I used half and half instead of cream which I think would have given it a richer flavor and also a little more thickness. I also reduced the amount of wine by a cup. Lastly I found I didn't have any almond extract, just an empty bottle in my cupboard so I used vanilla and that worked well. I think I might reduce the total amount of liquid to make a little thicker soup.
For me this is desert, but for a hot summer day if you like fruit soups try this, it is excellent. The cinnamon and wine combined with the cherries and is delicious. It would be good even without the cream and sour cream added. As a desert add a little whipped cream or even pour it over vanilla ice cream...YUM!!
Mel has a few recipes yet to publish and Shankari has a couple more also so be sure to go to their blogs to see what they have for you.