Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Shchi (щи) Cabbage soup

Shichi is even more of a quintessential Russian soup than borscht. Again, there are many variations.

It has to sit a few days before eating.

Basic ingredients:

1: Cabbage
2: Meat (optional)
3: Carrots or parsley roots
4: Spicy herbs (onions, celery, dill, garlic, pepper, bay leaf).
5: Sour components (smetana, apples, sauerkraut, pickle water).

Smetana is sour cream. I wonder if smetana is much different from Dutch sour cream. Where can I buy smetana in Amsterdam?

Basic Sour Shshi:

1) In a large pot put 1 kilo sauerkraut*, two carrots (chopped), two tomatoes (chopped) and a glass of water. Boil and simmer for 1.5 hours. *) Recipe said 1 kilo. This seemed a bit much so I used 500 gram sauerkraut and some left over white cabbage.

2) Fry a chopped onion in oil and add to the pot with sauerkraut.

3) Add 1.5 liters of water (vegetarian) or beef stock and cook for another 30 minutes.

4) Add 1 tablespoon of flower, pinch of black pepper and parsley. Stir and cook for 15 minutes. Optional: bay leaf, garlic. I also soaked some dried shi-take mushroom and added this to the shchi. And a can of concentrated tomato puree.

5) Simmer for 3, 4 hours on a very low fire.

6) Serve with sour cream.
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