"If you're looking for a soup that perfectly captures the spirit of Valentine's Day, this is it. Cherries have long been reputed to be an aphrodisiac, and the seductive flavor and texture and vibrant color of this soup make it the ideal prelude to any romantic meal. I especially like it served before pork or filet mignon. You may use high-quality German cherries in a jar, such as ARO Schattenmorellen, or sour cherries, in this recipe. Instead of sugar, you may wish to use some German cherry syrup to taste." -- Marcel Biró
- 1-1/2 pounds ripe black cherries un-pitted, divided
- 2/3 cup fruity white wine
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2/3 cup water
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- grated peel and juice of 1 lemon
- 1-1/4 cups crème fraîche or German double cream divided
- 2 tablespoons Asbach Uralt
Adapted for the CMA from Biró: European-Inspired Cuisine (Gibbs Smith 2005). © Marcel Biró and Shannon Kring Biró. All rights reserved. Photo credit: Marty Snortum.
Remove the stems and pits from the cherries but do not discard. Place one-half of the pits in a clean kitchen towel or freezer bag and crush them with a mallet. Keep the other half of the pits intact.
In a large saucepan, combine the crushed pits, whole pits, stems, wine, cinnamon, water, sugar, lemon peel, and lemon juice. Bring to a boil over medium heat, and then cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
Remove from heat and strain the liquid through a fine-mesh sieve. Return the liquid to the pan. Stir in 1 cup of the crème fraîche and all but one-quarter of the cherries. Allow to simmer over medium-low heat for 5 minutes, whisking occasionally.
In a food processor or blender, purée the cherry mixture until smooth. Refrigerate until cool, and then whisk in the Asbach Uralt. Chill until ready to serve.
Because of its vibrant color, I suggest serving this soup in a plain white bowl or in a chilled, clear glass bowl or cup. Drizzle the remaining 1/4 cup crème fraîche atop the soup and garnish with the remaining cherries.
Wine Pairings: Schumann-Nagler Cuvée Rheingau Riesling Germany Adapted for the CMA from Biró: European-Inspired Cuisine (Gibbs Smith 2005). © Marcel Biró and Shannon Kring Biró. All rights reserved. Photo credit: Marty Snortum.