I love sour cherry soup. I have made it from bottled and even canned cherries, but nothing compares with fruit soup made from fresh sour cherries.
This recipe is super easy: just simmer fresh, pitted cherries in water with some sugar to taste and then thicken the mixture with a cornstarch slurry. It is bascially poached fruit, with the sugar syrup thickened with starch.
The recipe below was inspired by this recipe from Mark Bittman, as it appeared on Kitchen Chick. I halved the liquid and used more cornstarch. Instead of the cinnamon and grated zest, I went with cinnamon stick and strips of zest. Plus, I added in a little cherry liqueur.
I was in kind of a rush and based the amount of cornstarch on the instructions on the box for making gravy, not the soup recipe (which I didn’t have in front of me). The soup came out great, but the amount of cornstarch I used seems a lot more than most recipes use for fruit soup per cup of liquid. Also, I used lots less liquid per cup of fruit. I think you could double the liquid and leave the amount of cornstarch the same and get more of a traditional fruit soup effect.
Sour Cherry Soup
1 quart sour cherries, pitted (can supplement with Bing cherries if you do not have enough sour cherries)
1/4 cup sugar or to taste
1 cup of water (or more, see note below)
1 cinnamon stick
2 strips of lemon peel (just the zest, no white pith; use a good peeler to get just the colored part and not the bitter white pith)
1 ounce sour cherry brandy
1 Tbl. corn starch mixed with 2 Tbl. water (cornstarch slurry)
Combine cherries, cinnamon stick, lemon peel, water, sugar, and brandy. Slowly bring to a boil. The water should get tinted dark red. Add the cornstarch slurry and boil for a minute until the liquid thickens.
Note: Can adjust sweetness by adding more sugar, or add tartness with some lemon juice. If you want more liquid, you can use 2 cups of water instead of 1, but I like it with 1 cup of liquid and lots of fruit per serving. It is more of a fruit compote than a soup this way, though.
Serve cold. Especially nice with sour cream.