Already the end of the season for cherries in Provence…and the last ones are not quite as “top” quality/sweetness, so a soup is perfect. In Southern France we have a great variety of cherries, and chefs serve them as appetizer, main dish and dessert. A famous and tender one is from Céret in Languedoc/Roussillon where cherry pitting contests abound. Other varieties like the starking hardy, slightly sour, the bigalise, sweet and firm, or the distinct primulat are equally delicious.
1 1/2 TB cornstarch
1 1/2 pound cherries, washed, de-stemmed and pitted
1 liter water
2 TB sugar
Pinch of salt
2 slices country or whole wheat bread
Heat butter in a large casserole, and when melted add the cornstarch and bind the two. Add water progressively while stirring. Add cherries, sugar, salt and cinnamon stick. Bring to boil. Simmer for 20 minutes. Dice the bread and sauté until golden in a frying pan brushed with a sliver of butter. Divide the bread in soup dishes, and pour the soup. Serve as is or with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a slice of pound cake, or even better gingerbread.