Monday, September 19, 2011

Cabbage Soup (Russian Version I)

Shchi (cabbage soup) had been the predominant first course in Russian cuisine for over a thousand years. Although tastes have changed, it steadily made its way through several epochs. Shchi knew no social class boundaries, and even if the rich had richer ingredients and the poor made it solely of cabbage and onions, all these "poor" and "rich" variations were cooked in the same tradition. The unique taste of this cabbage soup was from the fact that after cooking it was left to draw (stew) in a Russian stove. The "Spirit of shchi" was inseparable from a Russian izba (log hut). Many Russian proverbs are connected to this soup, such as Shchi da kasha pishcha nasha (Russian: Щи да каша — пища наша, "Shchi and porridge are our staples"). It can be eaten regularly, and at any time of the year.
The richer variant of shchi includes several ingredients, but the first and last components are a must:
  1. Cabbage.
  2. A chicken.
  3. Carrots
  4. onions, celery, garlic
  5. apples
Boil an organic chicken to make broth. Add salt to taste.  Add all of the above ingrediants, let simmer.  Then let cool to allow flavors to blend.  Reheat only the amount you plan to immediately eat.  It will go bad quickly. . It is eaten with rye bread.

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