Cross-Cultural Studies: Meggyleves

Courtesy of Éva Pósfay

Meggyleves, a scrumptious cold sour cherry soup, belongs to the great family of Central European fruit soups. It is also arguably Hungary’s quintessential summertime dish. While Hungary’s harvest season for sour cherry is surprisingly brief, this simple tart delicacy has been known to prompt cross-cultural research and inspire lifelong transcultural friendships. Adapted from


  • 2 (24-oz.) jars of pitted sour cherries (preferably morellos), with their juice (Alternatively, you may use 1 ¾ lbs. fresh Bing cherries, stemmed and pitted, or 1 ½ lbs. frozen Bing cherries with 2 ¾ cups sour or regular cherry juice.) 
  • ½ tsp. kosher salt 
  • 1 stick cinnamon 
  • 1 slice (1/2″-thick) lemon 
  • 1 (8-oz.) container sour cream


Add cherries, with their juice, to a 4-quart saucepan. Add salt, cinnamon stick, and lemon. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until cherries are soft, about 5 minutes. 

In a small bowl, whisk together sour cream and 1⁄4 cup of hot cherry liquid from pan. Remove pan from heat; stir in sour cream mixture. Chill the soup.