Cherry fruit soup

Yield: 1 batch

Measure Ingredient

4 c water ½ c sugar ¼ tsp cinnamon powder pn cloves 1 tb cornstarch 1 lb fresh cherries, pitted * 4 ripe peaches, stoned and quartered 4 purple plums, stoned and quartered sour cream or plain yogurt

* you may substitute one, 16 ounce can of tart red cherries in water If you are using canned cherries, drain them and replace 1 cup of the water with 1 cup of cherry juice (3 cups of water and 1 cup of cherry juice, instead of the 4 cups of water only).

In a saucepan, place the water or the water and cherry juice together with the sugar, cinnamon, and cloves.

In a small bowl or measuring cup, dissolve the cornstarch into ¼ cup of the liquid. Add the dissolved cornstarch mixture to the liquid in the pan. Bring to a boil. Add the cherries, peaches, and plums. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes.

This soup can be serve warm or cold, ungarnished or with a dollop of sour cream or yogurt. Makes 8 servings. NOTE: My mother always served this as a cold soup before a dairy meal on a hot summer day.

The reason is obvious; fresh fruit was inexpensive and readily available in the summertime.

She would buy overripe or bruised fruit from the greengrocer and then would wash and cut away the badly bruised areas. She certainly didn't bother removing the pits from the fruit. It was up to each of us to do our own pitting with every mouthful. But I think this is such an elegant and unusual soup that I always take the trouble to remove the pits. Most canned cherries come already pitted.

Recipe: Mama Leah's Jewish Kitchen, A Compendium Of More Than 225 Tasty Recipes -- Kugel To Kasha -- Blintzes To Borscht -- by Leah Loeb Fischer with Maria Poluskin Robbins.

Copyrighted 1990 Published by MacMillan Publishing Company

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