August 01, 2011

Cool Eats: Cold Cherry Soup

All this week I'm featuring "Cool Eats," recipes that require little to no stove-top time; perfect recipes to take the edge off that summer heat!

Cherry soup can be heavy and not-so-healthy, but this recipe comes out cool, bright, and deliciously decadent, despite its being not-so-bad for you!

This recipe comes together easily, with only about 15 minutes of stovetop time. It's a riff on the Martha Rose Shulman recipe that was in the New York Times last month. It's healthy, light, and so refreshing!

Fresh cherries can be expensive, so if they go on sale, nab 'em! Or, just splurge on a bit of summer's best work. A fruit stand in my Brooklyn nabe sells them 2 pounds for 8 bucks--that woman has seen a lot of me this summer. :)

Three of us set to pitting 2 lbs of cherries by hand--honestly? Not that difficult. And whatever dropped outside of the bowl, we got to eat. :) Make sure to save the pits, because that's what you use to make a sort of cherry 'stock.'


After boiling the pits in the water, you remove them, put in everything but the cherries,yogurt and almond extract, and let it go five more minutes. Then add the cherries, let it "simmah down nah" for five minutes more. You're almost done!

A quick whisking of 1 cup cherry liquid into the yogurt gets the final step going. After the first cup came together, we added the almond extract. I briefly considered adding more than the teaspoon, but the flavor is even stronger the next day, so I think the 1 tsp. is sufficient. And awesome. :)

I couldn't help thinking that this would be equally delectable spooned over some vanilla ice cream, or freshly-sliced peaches and bananas. Any other serving suggestions?

This is dead simple and so, so, so fantastic. We had the first round for dessert with dinner, and more the next day for breakfast. Yay, summer!

Cold Cherry Soup (adapted from Martha Rose Shulman's NYT recipe)

5 cups water

scant 1/2 cup sugar (use less if berries are very sweet)

1/2 cup red wine

1/4 teaspoon salt

zest of 1/2 lemon

1 tsp almond extract (YUM)

2 pounds sweet, dark cherries, pits reserved

1 cup Greek-style yogurt (we used Fage 2%)

Bring 5 cups to boil in saucepan. Add pits and boil 5 minutes. Remove pits (water will be tinged rosy-pink) and add everything but the cherries and yogurt. Stir gnently to mix, then let go for about 5 minutes at a rolling boil before adding the cherries. Cook for another 5 minutes. Remove from heat to start cooling down.

Take 1 cup of the warm cherry mixture and whisk it into another bowl with the yogurt, whisking quickly, then slowly add the rest, cup by cup. Let it cool down before putting in the fridge. As Ms. Shulman says, you may have to stir it up again before serving, but we didn't really notice any separating.

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