cold cherry soup
It is cherry season and I could't be more excited since that means summer is near. I am not a big fan of soups when it is warm outside, but I won't say no to anything that involves cherries. I grew up enjoying sour cherry soups which my grandmother would make every summer. They are refreshing and perfect for dinner on a hot summer's day. Since I was not able to find sour cherries in Michigan, I opted to replace them with regular red cherries.
for the soup:
3 cups water
2 cups cherries, or sour cherries, pitted
1 vanilla bean
1 whole nutmeg
3 slices orange rind
pinch of salt
pinch of ground cinnamon
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla sugar
6 ounces whip cream (I used Cool Whip, frozen)
2 tablespoons corn starch
3 tablespoons lemon juice
4 tablespoons lime yogurt
fresh lemon balm sprigs
Bring the water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add the cherries, vanilla bean, cloves, nutmeg, orange rind, salt, and cinnamon, and boil on medium heat for five minutes. Add the brown sugar and vanilla sugar and simmer for five more minutes, then add the frozen whip cream and mix to incorporate until the whip cream is fully melted.
In a separate bowl combine the cornstarch with the lemon juice and then add it to the soup. Mix to incorporate. Simmer for three more minutes, stirring occasionally.
Remove the soup from the heat and let it cool down at room temperature. After that, refrigerate for a couple of hours.
To serve, divide the soup amongst four plates. Place a tablespoon of lime yogurt in the middle of each plate and decorate with a sprig of fresh lemon balm.