12 Sep


Okay , So with just a little nip of a chill in the air  ,  fall is not to far away.     It’s time to break out a great soup recipe that I know you are going to love.

and  so a  Russian toast,       Za Vas! (zuh vahs)

And for our non- Russian friends :   To you!

At its most basic, shchi (pronounced shy-CHEE) is a simple vegetarian cabbage stew.  When the soup is made with Saurkraut, it is known as               Kislye Schchi

The word shchi comes from the Old Russian seto, meaning “sustenance” or “subsistence,” and numerous sayings attest to its importance in Russian life–what could be more telling than Shchi da kasha, pishcha nasha (or sometimes mat’ nasha, or zhizn’ nasha)?

Щи да каша — пища наша    , It translates as:         “Cabbage soup and kasha, that’s our food/mother/life.”

Shchi is a traditional soup of Russia where it has been known as far back as the 9th century, soon after cabbage was introduced from Byzantium. Its popularity in Russia originates from several factors. Shchi is relatively easy to prepare; it can be cooked with or without various types of meat; and it can be frozen and carried as a solid on a trip to be cut up when needed. Finally, it was noticed that most people do not get sick of shchi and can eat it daily. As a result, by the 10th century shchi became a staple food of Russia, ”

.Shchi was originally a wintertime staple, made from soured cabbage that had been put up in the fall–hence its proper name, kisliye shchi (sour cabbage soup). But Russians like cabbage soup so much that it eventually became a summertime staple as well, using fresh cabbage instead of fermented.

Shchi is so important to the Russian consciousness that it even has its own feast days. April 1 is celebrated as Mariya Pustiye Shchi (Mary ‘Empty Shchi’), a time when the winter stores of cabbage are nearly depleted and people long for more. It’s not until May 3, Mavry Zelyoniye Shchi (Molly ‘Green Shchi’) that the first fresh cabbage of the year can be planted


. Shchi is traditionally eaten with rye bread.

schi is made with fresh cabbage; kisliye schi (sour schi) is made with sauerkraut.

I have combined the two because   ………….. I wanted to ,     tastes good and it’s good for you !

  • 8 ounces bacon, cut into lardons ( diced in this case )
  • 3 tbsp. butter
  • 1 large carrot –  shredded
  • 1  large  onion – chopped
  • 14 oz can Franks  sauerkraut, drained ( save the juice and a add a good shot of it when you add the veggie stock )
  • 1 small head cabbage – cored and shredded ( or cut vey fine like I do )
  • 2  tomato  – chopped
  • 8 oz fresh mushrooms  – sliced
  • 6 cups  vegetable stock – I use
  • Better Than Bouillon Vegetable Base
    3 Bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried dill weed
  • 2 large russet potatoes –  peeled and diced
  • 1 cup  turnip  – diced     ( thought you would never use a turnip ,,,,, didn’t you ? )
  • sour cream and dill as garnish (optional)
  1. Sauté bacon, onion, carrots in the butter  until bacon renders it’s fat and onion is lightly browned.
  2. Stir in drained sauerkraut,  tomatoes , mushrooms ,  dill weed ,  salt and pepper.
  3. Add cabbage , and stir until slightly wilted.
  4. Add stock and a shot of sauerkraut juice .
  5. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes.
  6. Stir in the diced potatoes and turnips.
  7. Bring again to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer for 30-35 minutes, or until potatoes are tender.
  8. Serve garnished with  dollop  of sour cream and a sprinkling of chopped dill if desired.  ( also if you do not have fresh dill , mince 1/2 of a kosher pickle  – a   little trick of my own just for you ! )

Eat and Enjoy !


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