It is always nice when a dish can be a conversation piece. This classic favorite from the Austro-Hungarian Empire has never failed to start a round of stories and memories from my guests. Some variety of Cold Fruit Soup was a traditional menu offering at all the Catskill resort hotels. You might try asking people where they first tasted it. You will surely hear some wonderful stories.
Although Sour Cherries were the original basis for this, You can also lower the amount of Sugar to use a combination of fresh peeled Plums, Peaches, and Nectarines. I have specified tinned Cherries, because fresh Sour Cherries are almost impossible to find in stores—at least in the US. This will carry perfectly for a picnic.
- 3 cups Apple Juice
- 1 cup Red Wine
- 1 cup Juice from tinned Sour Cherries
- 1/2 cup Sugar
- 2 Cinnamon Sticks
- 4 cups tinned Sour Cherries, drained
- 1 tablespoon Cornstarch
- Rind from 1 Orange (scrape away as much of the white part as possible)
- Sour Cream (optional)
Put the Cornstarch in a small bowl with 1/4 cup of the Sugar. Whisk in the Juice from the Cherries, and set aside until needed.
Place all the other ingredients, except the Wine. in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil, then lower the flame, and simmer for 10 minutes.
Remove from the heat, and whisk in the Cornstarch mixture. Return to heat and bring just to a boil. Remove from heat, and pour the soup into another container.
Chill in the refrigerator until cold. Remove the Cinnamon Sticks and Orange Rind. Stir the Wine into the Soup, and serve. This is usually garnished with a dollop of Sour Cream, but that may be omitted for a Meat meal.