Every week on the Good Food Blog we celebrate Meatless Monday by sharing a vegetarian recipe from our archives.
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Cold Spiced Cherry Soup
This slightly sweet soup is an adaptation of a classic Hungarian dish. It makes an elegant first course for an early summer dinner.
6 to 8 servings
- 8 whole cloves
- 12 whole allspice
- 1 3-inch cinnamon stick
- 12 whole black peppercorns
- 1 (750-ml) bottle rose wine
- 2 cups water
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 2 lbs cherries, stemmed and pitted
- 1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 tsp almond extract
- 3/4 cup creme fraiche or yogurt, plus more for serving
- Cut a square of cheesecloth about 5 inches square. Place the cloves, allspice, cinnamon and peppercorns in the center. Bring the corners together and tie the packet shut with a piece of string. (Alternatively, you can also place the spices in a large tea ball).
- Bring the wine, water and sugar to a simmer in a large saucepan and add the spice packet. Cook until the wine loses its raw alcohol smell and mellows in flavor, about 15 minutes. Cooking gently will help the wine retain its delicate fruit.
- Add the cherries and cook, at a gentle poach, until the cherries have slightly softened, about 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the balsamic vinegar and the almond extract. Taste and adjust the vinegar; the soup should be slightly sweet, but with a definite tart backbone. Transfer to a lidded bowl and refrigerate until well chilled, at least 4 hours.
- Just before serving, discard the spice packet and add the creme fraiche. Replace the lid and shake gently to mix well. The soup should be lightly creamy and pale pink. There should not be any trace of unincorporated cr–me fraiche.
- Ladle the soup into chilled bowls and garnish with a small spoon of creme fraiche swirled into the center.