I finally got around to making one of my favorite recipes from the Moosewood Cookbook, Cherry Soup, this weekend at the height of what appears to be a very good cherry season.
The Rainier cherries are large and juicy, and fairly easy to pit using our trusty cherry pitter that lives an otherwise lonely existence in the back of the kitchen gadget drawer aside from this once annual ritual. The cherries are stewed with cinnamon sticks and then pureed (remember to remove the cinnamon sticks before pureeing). White wine, honey and lemon juice round out the additions.
While the soup is traditionally served with sour cream, to accommodate the many diets and preferences you may try adding in coconut milk or ice cream.
This Scandinavian recipe highlights cherries an anti-oxidant powerhouse, The ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity, a measure of the antioxidant potency of foods) value of fresh cherries is around 1,500. For comparison, fresh strawberries have an ORAC value around 1,000 and cranberries come in just below tart cherries. Blueberries, which are famed for being antioxidant powerhouses, achieve an ORAC value of around 2,400.
This is the perfect recipe for a hot summer night, if you don’t want to pit the cherries, you can work with frozen cherries, just reduce the water by 50%. And, do not feel like you need to go fresh to preserve nutrients, check out this blog post where I discuss the value of using frozen fruits and vegetables.
Coleen Murphy ND