Hideg meggyleves

So last year I spent a couple of weeks touring around a few parts of Hungary. Naturally I made an effort to get out and sample as much of the native cuisine as possible.

One of the things I tried many, many times was the cold fruit soup, most often the sour cherry soup (or “Hideg meggyleves” in Magyar), but sometimes variants of it. Essentially it’s fruit boiled in water with the brilliant, and typically Hungarian, addition of sour cream.

I became a huge fan, and even the weakest of the soups was pretty good.

Since I’ve been back I’ve been meaning to try making it myself. This weekend I had a pound of pitted sour cherries appear in the kitchen, so it seemed like time to try it out.

Here’s the recipe I used:


  • 500 g sour cherries
  • 150 g sugar
  • grated peel of half a lemon
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 100 ml sour cream


In a large pan put 1 and half litres of water, the sugar, salt, lemon peel, and cinnamon. Boil for 3-4 minutes and taste to see if the liquid is well-flavoured. If not, let it boil and reduce for another few minutes.

Add the cherries to the boiling water and simmer 4-5 minutes. Mix the cream and the flour then stir in slowly a ladle of hot cherry juice. Pour into the soup and boil until it thickens. Leave to cool, serve chilled.

It turned out great, and was a hit with everyone.

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Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 Canada
This work by Chris McLaren is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 Canada.