Hungarian Sour Cherry Soup (Meggyleves)

Hungarian Sour Cherry Soup (Meggyleves)

Sour cherry soup is a Hungarian summer time favorite. Over the years, I have heard about this famous soup from my boyfriend and his family. They recount summers spent around Lake Balaton and the surplus of sour cherries in the area. Sour cherries can be used to make compotes, desserts and, of course, sour cherry soup.

Sour cherries are not an item frequently seen on American shelves, so when I stumbled upon them at the Lincoln Park Farmers Market, I had to try them! My boyfriend’s mom was also excited by this unique Chicago find, and she taught me how to make it.

These cherries were a little bit smaller than the ones they use in Hungary. She described them more like the cherries that are found in the wild and line the streets waiting to be picked.

This soup is super flavorful and unlike anything I have had before. It’s spiced, creamy, and tart and the chilled temperature makes it perfect for summer. Just enjoy with a wine spritzer mixed with elderberry juice and you got yourself a taste of Europe this summer. Enjoy!

Sour Cherry Soup

Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Course dinner, lunch, Snack
Cuisine Hungarian
Servings 6 servings


  • 2.5 L water about 9 cups
  • 12 whole cloves
  • 1 lemon peel remove white part of the rind
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 medium sized lemons, juiced
  • 800 g sour cherries sour cherry compote works as well, if you don't have sour cherries you can also use any red cherry, but may want to reduce sugar as these are sweeter
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sour cream


  • Add water, cloves, cinnamon sticks, lemon peel and vanilla to a large pot and heat to a boil
  • While waiting for pot to boil add sugar and lemon juice
  • Allow the pot to boil for about 5-7 minutes
  • While waiting for pot to boil, remove cherry pits and stems if not done already
  • Remove pot from heat and add cherries
  • Add pot to heat and allow to boil with cherries for 7 minutes
  • In a medium bowl, mix flour and sour cream together. Add about 2 ladles full of soup to the flour and sour cream and whisk together, removing any lumps and blending the mixture together
  • Turn heat on low and add the flour and sour cream mixture to the soup
  • Add salt and let soup simmer for 5 minutes
  • Remove soup from heat and allow time for it to cool. It should be served cold, so you may want to prepare a day to a few hours ahead

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