Hungarian dishes bring to mind hearty soups and stews. These traditional starters include everything from the country’s famous savory goulash to one of its many sweet, fruit soups. So it’s no surprise that one of Grand Circle’s Program Directors, Istvan Pinter, craves meggyleves, a sour cherry soup. Pinter says, “This is a very simple Hungarian dish that has been served here for many generations. There’s really nothing to it beyond water, sugar, cinnamon, cherries, and a splash of cream—though good cooks like to tinker, some using sour cream, others adding wine.”
Here, Istvan shares one of his favorite recipes for meggyleves:
Meggyleves (Sour Cherry Soup)
1 lb. fresh, pitted sour cherries
¾ cup sugar
6 cups water
2 Tbs. flour
¼ tsp. salt
1 cup sour cream
1 tsp. confectioner’s sugar
- Cook the pitted cherries with ¾ cup sugar in a saucepan for about ten minutes.
- In a separate mixing bowl, combine flour, salt, sour cream, and confectioner’s sugar until the mixture is smooth.
- When the cherries are cooked, temper the sour cream mixture. You can do this by pouring a few ladles of the hot cherry sauce into the sour cream mixture, and stirring until smooth.
- Combine the sour cream mixture with the rest of the cherry and sugar mixture and stir until smooth. Simmer the soup for about five minutes, but don’t bring to a boil.
- Bring the soup to room temperature by placing in an ice water bath.
- Cover the surface of the soup with plastic wrap to avoid creating a skin on the top layer of the soup.
- Place in the refrigerator until cold.
- Serve the soup as the first course, or even as a dessert, with a scoop of sour or whipped cream.
Enjoy this simple Hungarian soup—and more recipes like this—on our Eastern Europe & the Black Sea River CruiseTour.