Chilled sour cherry soup (Hideg meggyleves)

You’re unlikely to find this reviving summer treat outside of Hungary. The key is fresh, pitted sour cherries that are transformed — using water, spices, light cream, and sugar — into a deliciously silky, sweet-tart chilled soup.


Yiled: 5-6 servings; Total time: 45 minutes

  • 600 grams (1 ⅓ pound) sour cherry, washed and pitted

  • 1 ½ liters (1.6 quarts) water

  • 125 grams (⅔ cup) confectioners’ sugar

  • 3 cinnamon sticks

  • 1 medium lemon, using both zest and juice

  • 200 grams (¾ cup) light cream

  • 2 tablespoons flour


  • Step 1: Carefully wash, then pit the cheeries. Place the pitted cherries in a large pot, add sugar and cinnamon sticks and cover with 1 ½ liters (1.6 quarts) of warm water. Bring the liquid to a simmer and cook for ten more minutes.

  • Step 2: In a medium bowl, mix light cream and flour into a smooth paste. Then add a few ladles of the hot cherry soup into the bowl, stir, and pour the flour-cream mixture back into the soup through a sieve.

  • Step 3: Bring the soup back to a boil for a couple of minutes, then turn off heat. Within minutes, the soup will thicken slightly. Add lemon juice and zest and stir well.

  • Step 4: Prepare an ice-water bath and add the pot to it. Let the soup chill, then place the pot into the refrigerator. It takes at least four hours for the soup to get cold. Remove the cinnamon sticks just before serving the soup.

Words of advice

As you plan ahead your meal, remember that the soup needs at least four hours in the refrigerator to get cold. Also, it's a nice touch to serve it in cold plates (I usually place the plates in the refrigerator along with the soup).

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I created these recipes with the help of nearly a dozen historical Hungarian cookbooks, adjusting ingredients, cooking times, and methods to reflect my own preferences and tastes of the current day. Do you have any feedback? Please let me know!