It's cherry soup time again, and I had to share once more my favorite recipe for the start of summer, a guaranteed peak eating experience for you and your loved ones.
In Chinese medicine, cherries are described as warming and sweet, are said to strengthen the spleen qi and heart blood, "prevent involuntary seminal emission," and are a remedy for arthritis and gout. They just might help you sleep a little better around the solstice when the long days make us want to stay up late. Their deep red color indicates the presence of iron and lots of antioxidants, needed right now when the sun is so high, and the color is certainly a big part of the appeal of this soup, especially when you drizzle it with creme fraiche and garnish it with a few yellow and pink Rainier cherries for contrast.
Cold Cherry Soup
Adapted from The Vegetarian Epicure, Book 2 by Anna Thomas (1980).
2 1/2 lbs. sweet dark cherries
5 cups water
2-4 tablespoons evaporated cane juice
1/3 cup white wine
juice of 2 lemons
dash sea salt
creme fraiche, for serving (make your own for extra brownie points), or vanilla ice cream
Pit the cherries and put them in a large soup pot along with the sugar and the water. Bring to a boil and simmer about 15-20 minutes. Remove from heat and puree with an immersion blender, or allow to cool and puree in a regular blender. Add the wine, lemon juice and salt. Chill the soup. Serve dolloped with creme fraiche, as a first course or dessert.
This just in: check out Kimber Simpkins' interview with me in the latest issue of Edible East Bay, here.