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Cherry soup

The season for fresh cherries is coming to an end here in the Bay Area, so I came up with this cherry soup recipe. I’ve always found fruit soups intriguing, especially after reading descriptions in Sundays at the Moosewood Restaurant and Chez Panisse Fruit.

cherry soupMany thanks to Simon for the pretty swirl.

They might seem weird, but soup made from sweet fruit can easily complement your culinary mood. For example, you can serve cherry soup as a first course to dinner, or as a dessert. Sugar is used as a seasoning, similar to salt, to bring out the flavors: Use less for an early course, or more for a final course. Serve it chilled when the weather is hot, or warmed during the colder seasons.

The best cherry variety (at least in California) is Bing: dark, rich and sweet. If you can find Bings, use them if you can restrain from eating all of them by yourself. 😉

Have any of you tried cherry soup made from frozen cherries? Best to use unsweetened ones, I imagine, then adding sweetening as desired.

You can use any semi-dry white wine, like a Riesling or Gewürztraminer. For this weekend’s batch I used Greenwood Ridge’s 2005 White Riesling from Mendocino. Perhaps a fruity, dry-ish rosé might also work? In general, though, I would avoid dessert wines, as their flavor and sweetness might overwhelm the cherries.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 pound fresh cherries; after pitting, you should have about 1 pound.
  • 3 cups filtered water
  • 1 cup semi-dry white wine
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • sugar to taste; e.g., I’ve added 2 tablespoons to make a pleasant sweet-tart soup from Bings.
  • garnishes: a dollop of yogurt, crème fraîche or sour cream; fresh cherries; fresh mint.

Method

  1. Pit the cherries and put them in a non-reactive (acid resistant) stock pot. Add water, wine and lemon juice.
  2. Bring to a gentle boil, then simmer for about 20 minutes. The cherries will become softer (but not pulpy) and paler.
  3. Add sugar, as desired. Purée until smooth with a hand blender or food processor. Don’t be surprised if you get a nice, fluffy pink foam.
  4. Serve warm or chilled, with garnishes, if desired. This recipe yields about 1 1/2 to 2 quarts. Like most soups, you can freeze the leftovers.

One comment

  1. smfr wrote:

    I warmed some of the soup, and added a scoop of vanilla ice cream. It was yummy!

    Sunday, 24 June 2007 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

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