Cold Cherry Soup – Vyšnių Sriuba

From Chef Oonagh Williams of Gluten Free Cooking with Oonagh 

Makes about 4 cups, or 8 x ½ cup dinner party servings.

This is one of the recipes I make for my Lithuanian armchair travels presentation with a tasting buffet. 

The original soup used only water and didn’t puree the mix.  I personally found it tasteless. Cherry soup is mainly an Eastern European recipe, served as either appetizer or dessert.  Normally made with tart or sour cherries with lemon juice and sour cream added. I remember from studying in Lithuania that they don’t have as sweet a tooth as here. Some of the recipes quote using jars of Trader Joe’s Morello cherries (tart) in light syrup, or frozen tart cherries or fresh Bing cherries. Cherries would have been preserved in syrup or made into jam.  I have made cherry soup with both frozen sweet cherries and jar of Morello cherries. It really depends on level of sweetness you like and both frozen and jars are far more convenient. 


1 x 24 oz jar of Trader Joe’s Morello cherries in light syrup ($2.99) or 12 oz frozen sweet cherries (my favorite and $2.99 in my local grocery store) or 2lbs tart cherries pitted.

1 x 3” cinnamon stick

pinch of salt 

zest of ¼ lemon 

¼ c sugar – add more to taste after chilling overnight 

1 tbsp honey for sweetness and flavor

¼ c sour cream – I use lite 

1/3 c heavy cream 

1 tsp almond extract – optional 

wine – optional

cherry jam – optional for sweetness and more cherry


  1. Empty jar of Morello cherries and syrup into 8 cup pan.
  2. Add salt, sugar, honey, lemon zest and cinnamon stick.
  3. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium, cover and simmer for abut 10 minutes until cherries are soft.
  4. Remove from heat and leave to cool in pan.
  5. Remove cinnamon stick, puree with immersion blender and stir in sour cream and cream. I then put cinnamon stick back in pan.
  6. Preferably chill overnight.  I found flavor developed and mellowed after refrigeration.
  7. Taste soup before serving to adjust sugar or add lemon juice, thickness with more water or cream.

Less sugar with sweet cherries and use 1+1/4 c water if you use frozen sweet cherries

You can find Chef Oonagh Williams at Gluten Free Cooking with Oonagh on FB or web. Chef Oonagh has a culinary arts degree, celiac disease and other food allergies.  Remember most real food is naturally gluten free until manufacturers ‘mess’ around with it. Real food is now being called clean eating. Contact Oonagh for cooking classes, demos, help with gfd, talks and cooking demos on Eating Clean in 2019 plus Power of Food – best medicine, worst poison, where I talk about FDA nutritional labeling, gmo’s, how much sugar is too much sugar, transfats, food allergens, Great Grains – what are they, how to cook so the family will eat. 

Chef Oonagh will be giving presentations on her trip to Lithuania, talks, photos, videos, history, culture, food plus buffet of dishes at: 

Griffin Pl Wednesday 25 September
Nashua NH Sunday 6 October,
Candia 9 October.

My Lithuanian cooking demos continue at Rodgers Library Hudson, from September 2019 to May 2020.These are all sponsored by Charles Žylonis Trust and other libraries will be added to list.Talk on ‘Gluten free and other food allergies, fact or fad’ for Lyndeborough Library 21 October.

Oonagh can be reached at 603-424-6412 or [email protected]