oh SHCHI!!!October 8, 2009 at 2:34 am | Posted in Soup | 32 Comments
Tags: Dinner, Russian Soup, Soup, Vegetable Soup
Actually I’m not cursing, this is the name of the Russian Soup I’m about to talk about.
As I mentioned in a previous post, I own a super-duper-super-secret soup-cookbook that I’m about to share with you. It contains a fabulous collection of unique cuisine built around traditional country ingredients like farm fresh chicken, wild mushrooms, greens, dried beans and even summer berries. The book offers a “season of soups” featuring some of the best and unique recipes I’ve ever found using seasonal produce. You’ll also find a basket of breads and salad tossing wisdom that’s very distinctive.
The author is an award winning children’s book writer and author of other cookbooks. I think that’s what makes this cookbook so unique, she’s an accomplished writer. Printed in August of 1992, I think she was a blogger long before blogging existed. Each recipe begins with a detailed story about the people who influenced the recipe, a story about serving and sharing the meal with friends, and what weather conditions or town events occured to influence the meal. A menu example:
Dinner For Billy After He drove Through The Snow To Get Here
Salad of Sliced Tomatoes, Avocados and Red Onions on a Bed of Greens with Creamy Mexican Vinaigrette
Chicken and Cheese Soup with Green Chilis
Orange Pound Cake
Coffee or Hot Chocolate with Cinnamon Sticks
Ahead of her time, she preaches to us to use fresh and locally grown ingredients, ALWAYS makes her own stock, and even goes so far to use spring water as opposed to tap water to do so. She dedicates one whole chapter to perfecting stocks.
I love, love, love this cookbook. The name of it is Dairy Hollow House Soup and Bread, A Country Inn Cookbook and the author is Crescent Dragonwagon. Crescent and her husband owned a Bed and Breakfast in Eureuka Springs, Arkansas. The recipes were inspired during that endeavor. I usually prefer cookbooks with wonderful full-color photos to whet the appetite. You won’t find any photos at all in this book. But the charming dialog and descriptions will complete that picture in your mind.
Warning, recipes found in this book aren’t your simple “open a can, thow in some spices, toss in some stew meat and in 10 minutes you’ve got piping hot soup” This is back to basics. Most recipes are at least 30 minutes of chopping and dicing fresh vegetables followed by long flavor enhancing simmer times.
You can click on the picture and it will take you to the Amazon link.
The first recipe I have chosen to share is a Russian vegetable soup. It’s by far, not the most interesting selection in the book, but I’ve been eating very rich fattening foods over the last week, and with no exercise (laid up due to the “flying man” incident). So I needed something lean and healthy. Something brothy, and comforting, a slavic soul food sounded like just the right thing. It’s intriguing sweet-sourness comes from cider vinegar, sauerkraut, raisins, prunes and honey.
If the prunes already haven’t, don’t let the lengthy list of ingredients scare you off. I spent about 30 minutes with prep time and then you just let it simmer on the stove for an hour. Pretty darn easy.
Sautee all of the fresh chopped vegetables.
Look at those beautiful raisins.
Farmer’s Market had purple potatoes, so I decided to give them a try for this soup.
Spoon the soup over the potatoes
Enjoy the unique flavors of this soup.
Joseph Saltzman’s Shchi (Russian Cabbage Soup, a family friend inspired recipe)
3 T. Butter
1 Large Onion, diced
1 Medium Carrot, scrubbed and chopped
1 Parsnip, scrubbed and chopped
1 1/2 Quarts Chicken Broth
1 1/2 Cups Green Cabbage, cut into ribbons
1 1/2 Cups sauerkraut well drained(do not use canned, use bottled in the refrigerated section)
1 Can Whole Tomatoes, buzzed in a food processor, or mashed to chunks
3 Cloves Garlic, pressed
1/4 C. Dark Raisins
1/4 C. Golden Raising
10 Pitted Prunes, diced
2 T. Honey, or more to taste
1 Bay Leaf
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
6 – 8 Small Red-Skinned potatoes
Sour Cream for garnish
In a 10 inch skillet add the butter over medium heat. Add onion and sautee until soft, about 3 – 4 minutes. Add carrot, turnip and parsnip. Continue cooking until vegetables are soft, about 4 minutes. Transfer the vegetables to a large soup pot and add all remaining ingredients except potatoes and sour cream.
Bring to a boil, turn down heat to low and let simmer, covered, about 1 hour. Or until fruit has almost disintegrated into broth. Taste for seasoning and adjust. The soup should be decidedly sweet and sour. Adjust with honey and vinegar.
Towards end of simmering, boil potatoes until tender.
To serve, scoop a small amount of potatoes into soup bowl, ladle soup on top and add a dollop of sour cream. Serve with a chunk of crusty bread and you’re good to go.