This cold soup is perfect for a hot summer day. It’s got all the right elements: cherries, juice, even vegan sour cream. You might call this one “Dessert for Dinner.”
1 ½ cups cherries, pitted
2 TBLSP sugar, approximately (let the cherries determine how much)
1 teaspoon olive oil
3 TBLSP water
1 teaspoon cornstarch
3 TBLSP freshly squeezed orange juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2 TBLSP whole almonds, roughly chopped in the food processor
½ teaspoon vegan butter, melted
Pinch of granulated sugar
Small pinch of salt
1 TBLSP vegan sour cream
Slosh of almond milk
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Place the pitted cherries on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with 2 teaspoons of the sugar, all of the oil, and a pinch of salt. Mix them well, and roast them for about 20 minutes. Set them aside.
- Reduce the oven temperature to 250 degrees Fahrenheit.
- In a small saucepan, combine the water, cornstarch, and the rest of the sugar (4 teaspoons) over medium high heat. Bring to a simmer and keep stirring until it thickens. Remove from the heat.
- Put the cherries and all their juices in the blender or food processor. Add the orange juice, zest, and about 2/3 of the cornstarch mixture. Blend until almost creamy, with just a few little lumps. Taste, and adjust the thickness with the cornstarch mixture or orange juice. It should be about the same as thin pancake batter, but a wildly different color.
- Pour into your serving vessel and chill for ½ hour.
- Place the almonds on a sheet pan with the butter and sugar, and mix well. Sprinkle with a few pinches of salt.
- Bake until roasted and crunchy, 10-12 minutes. Watch them closely because they will suddenly burn.
- In a small bowl, mix the sour cream with a bit of almond milk. You’re just trying to thin it up enough to be able to pour it. It should still be pretty thick.
- Okay, now for the fun part. Take the cold bowl of soup and make a U- or curly-cue-shaped swirl across the top with the sour cream. Then sprinkle some the almonds across it like comet dust. You’ll want to eat the rest of the almonds just as they are.
- Rainier cherries make a lovely orange-ish colored soup, which is sweeter than the Bing cherry version. The color with Bing is to die for, though. So you have to choose between sweet and gorgeous. Oh wait. Both flavors are sweet and gorgeous!