Hungarian Sour Cherry Soup From Yorkville Meat Emporium

Almost as good as air conditioning.
Almost as good as air conditioning.

The Hungarian Yorkville Meat Emporium on the Upper East Side has a refrigerator filled with all sorts of homemade soups and stews, from goulash to clam chowder. But most appealing on a hot day is the traditional Hungarian cold sour cherry soup, or hideg meggyleves.

The meat market, a relic from when this part of town was home to a large population of Hungarian and Eastern European immigrants, is known for its home-smoked sausages and homemade cold cuts, like liverwurst. The sour cherry soup is one of the only vegetarian dishes available.

The soup is traditionally made in the hot summer months, when cherries are in season and can be eaten as a light lunch, an appetizer, or a dessert. Yorkville's version is a pretty mauve color, bobbing with dark, heavy sour cherries. It tastes sweet-tart and tangy from the sour cream, which acts as a thickener. Though sugary, the soup seems somehow wholesome and nutritious -- a cooling, light dip into a cherry orchard.

Yorkville Meat Emporium 1560 Second Avenue 212-628-5147

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