Like the peach and the tomato, the cherry is another fruit that is nearly synonymous with summer. I can remember the summer joys of buying fresh-picked cherries from a roadside stand, and also going to visit my grandmother, where we picked cherries from the very generous tree in her back yard.

More recently, I was visiting family in Sonoma when a neighbor invited us over to help lighten his cherry tree. Memories like these that are all stirred up when I use cherries in dishes. This recipe uses sour cherries, lemon juice, sugar and yogurt to create a memorable and refreshing summer soup.

The finished cold cherry soup. Photo: CC-Scaredy CatIngredients:
1¼ pound fresh sour red pie cherries, pitted
(use ¼ pound to make ¼ cup juice)
¼ cup of fresh cherry juice
1½ teaspoons cornstarch
½ cup cold water
1 tablespoon white sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 cup whole milk yogurt
dollop of sour cream or yogurt
chopped chives as garnish

Directions:
Wash and pit 1¼ pound of cherries. Juice ¼ pound of cherries, or enough to make ¼ cup of fresh cherry juice.

In a small saucepan, combine cornstarch, cold water, and fresh cherry juice.

Mix well, and heat to boiling, and boil for 5 minutes, stirring constantly.

Add sugar and lemon juice. Mix well and remove from heat.

Transfer to a bowl and place in refrigerator to chill.

Chop remaining cherries.

When liquid cools, blend in yogurt and add the chopped cherries.

Serve chilled with a dollop of sour cream or yogurt on top, and a chopped chives as a garnish.

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