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Meggy Leves (Sour Cherry Soup)

March 16, 2021
Photo: Tom Enos/Cherry Marketing Institute via Getty ImagePhoto: Tom Enos/Cherry Marketing Institute via Getty Image

Almost exactly five years ago, I tasted sour cherry soup for the first time. I was at a restaurant in Budapest, very pregnant and dining with an equally pregnant friend who had a powerful craving for dairy. Scanning the menu, her eyes lit up when she saw meggy leves, a chilled sour cherry soup enriched with sour cream. When it arrived—a light pink froth dotted with tart bits of fruit and capped with a billowy cloud of whipped cream—I didn’t quite know what to make of it. Was it a soup or a dessert or a smoothie in a bowl? But after a spoonful, followed quickly by several more, definitions hardly mattered.

Featured in: The Sweetness of Sour Cherries


  • 3cups fresh or thawed frozen sour cherries, pitted
  • 1cup pure sour cherry juice (not from concentrate)
  • 1cup water
  • ½cup granulated sugar
  • ¼teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2cinnamon sticks
  • 1cup heavy cream
  • Sour cream and ground cinnamon, for serving
Yield: Serves 6


  • Step 1

    Add the cherries, cherry juice, water, sugar, salt, and cinnamon sticks to a medium saucepan set over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil then turn heat to medium and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and transfer soup to a nonreactive bowl. Let cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate until fully chilled, at least 2 hours or overnight.

  • Step 2

    Just before serving, slowly pour the heavy cream into the soup and stir to combine. Divide soup between bowls and serve with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

  • Step 3

    Blended Variation: Scoop about 1 cup of cherries out of the chilled soup and set aside. Add the heavy cream to the soup and use a hand blender to blend. Add the reserved whole cherries back to the soup and serve topped with sour cream and cinnamon.