Hungarian Sour Cherry Soup with Fennel and Mint

Cherry Soup

Coming from a Hungarian background, I was excited to incorporate this simple cherry soup to summer dinners. In Hungary, it is known as Meggy leves, and served chilled before dinner, as a way to “wet” the appetite and a unique and lovely way to make a meal special.  In some areas, cherry season is abundant in early summer, and many times we find ourselves with many more pounds than we know what to do with.  I have offered a herbal twist to this with a bit of mint and fennel.  Sour Cherries are the traditional ingredient, but you are welcome to experiment and see what flavors you enjoy!   Please don’t use canned sweet cherries.  


You will need:

  • 2 cups water
  • 1 pound fresh sour cherries, pitted
  • 3/4 cup sugar(confectioners preferred-sub with monk fruit sweetener if sugar sensitive)
  • 1/3 cup dry red wine
  • 1/2  lemon
  • 1/3 cup half and half(or non dairy creamer)
  • egg yolk(optional if vegan-use flour)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 5-6 Cloves
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • fennel leaf or pollen(1 tspn)
  • Mint leaves for garnish
  • Sour cream


  1. Pit cherries, saving the pits.
  2. Add 2 cups of water to the pound of fresh cherries in pot and bring to a simmer
  3. Pound pits open with a heavy object, till they crack, and wrap them into cheesecloth with cloves and cinnamon.  Tie up and add to pot
  4. Add in wine, lemon juice, sugar and salt and let simmer for 10 minutes
  5. Dip out half the cherries and puree the soup. 
  6. Return the cherries, and bring back to a simmer
  7. Pull out cheesecloth
  8. Whisk in egg yolk(or flour) and cream  
  9. Allow to cool, then refrigerate
  10. Mince fennel leaf, or collect 1 teaspoon of fennel pollen, and a handful of mint leaves roughly chopped.  Add as desired to each bowl when serving with a dollop of creme fraiche, or sour cream.

Food is medicine!  Did you know that cherries are high in Vit C, Carotenoids that support immune function,  Potassium, and Polyphenols that health to support heart and vascular health?