'Gyere kislányom, a hideg meggyleves nagyon finom! (come my little girl, this cold cherry soup is really delicious!),' my mother, Irén, would say as she beckoned me to taste her freshly made, ice-cold soup. Clearly she loved it, and indeed it must have been very good. For with each spoonful she would close her eyes, form a smile, raise her shoulders towards her neck (as you do when something is immensely pleasurable), and make the 'Mmmm' sound. Actually I can still see the look of bliss on her face... it was as though this lovely lady, who had lived a much harder life than most of us could imagine, had just died and gone to heaven.
I'm a cherry aficionado, I devour them by the kilo...
With my recipe, I've eliminated the flour and added a little cinnamon and some vanilla bean paste. I recommend that you grind the cinnamon fresh for the best flavour. Cold cherry soup is delicious as a mid afternoon treat on a hot summer's day. It can also be served as a starter or a dessert, and sits well on a festive table, especially in the southern hemisphere.
COLD CHERRY SOUP
500g pitted fresh cherries
2 tablespoons caster sugar
1.5-2 cups water
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
3 tablespoons low fat sour cream or plain yoghurt
Combine the cherries, caster sugar, water, cinnamon and vanilla bean paste in a saucepan. Bring to the boil and then lower the heat and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the cherries are tender. Remove the saucepan from the stovetop and allow the 'soup' to cool. Then transfer it to a blender and pulse/process until smooth. Add the sour cream or yoghurt and pulse until mixed in. Chill thoroughly before serving. This quantity will serve 4.