Foreign tourists unanimously declare that Russian cabbage soup is the first dish that you should try when traveling in Russia. Like this!
Most likely, the secret of Russian soups is in a special technology. After all, the first dishes with cabbage are available in almost every kitchen in the world, and they knew how to sour cabbage in Ancient China, during the construction of the Great Wall of China.
Let us try to understand what we know about Russian souls such that they are already the main dish on the Russian table for the second millennium, not resigning to the influence of their neighbors, but at the same time conquering Europe, Asia and even the New World.
Russian shchi - basic technological principles
It is enough to read briefly several cookbooks written in Russia from the seventeenth to the beginning of the twentieth century in order to independently determine the characteristic features of Russian cuisine. Ancient recipes of Russian soup are based on these centuries-old principles of cooking in the old Russian cuisine, which, oddly enough, are still preserved. Of these, four significant differences can be identified:
1. In the old recipes of the old Russian cuisine there is no such thing as grinding the ingredients at the preparatory stage. Meat and vegetables were laid in a pot in whole or in large pieces.
Compare: The habit of cooking meat in a whole piece for soups, borscht, broths and cabbage soup continues in our days. In this form, the meat is laid in the soup, although it has been more than three centuries, as Russian cuisine has mastered the preparation of meat, fish and vegetable minced meat, cutting meat for saltworms, goulash, under the influence of French cuisine, constantly competing for the title of “trendsetter” in cooking . Cooking of southern and eastern neighbors, Turkic and Asian peoples also had a significant impact on the methods of preliminary preparation of products.
2. Spicy roots and herbs have been used in ancient Russian cuisine since the ninth century, even in poor peasant families: it is horseradish, garlic, dill, onion, parsley, anise. Note that Russian cuisine until the early twentieth century, had clear social boundaries, so various overseas spices, which gradually penetrated into it, were available only to the boyars and merchants, and, of course, to the clergy. The dishes of the middle class for a long time were distinguished by a minimum of aromatic additives, although bay leaf, cloves and black pepper were known in Russia in the tenth century. Remember: as early as the second half of the last century, our grandmothers and great-grandmothers cooked wonderful first courses, while doing so with a minimum set of spices consisting of bay leaf, black and Jamaican (sweet) pepper, and from herbs and roots, mainly parsley, celery, dill, onions and carrots were used.
3. From the very beginning of its formation, Russian cuisine was distinguished by a single-ingredient dish, that is, the soup was called cabbage soup, even when it consisted only of cabbage (base) and onion (spicy dressing). The same component minimalism was characteristic of Russian salads, which included only cucumbers , or just beetroot, with the addition of spicy dressing. According to this principle, meat, mushrooms, fish were cooked.
The less ingredients are included in the composition of the dish, the more difficult is its preparation. This is a regularity in cooking. Perhaps this feature brings to the solution of the inimitable taste of simple Russian soups, and the technology of a simple dish has acquired its uniqueness, thanks to a thousand-year experience.
4. Now, it is unlikely that one of the housewives using the Internet and other benefits of modern civilization has a Russian stove in the house or, at least, knows how to make a fire in it. But it was the Russian stove that played, hardly, the decisive role in the formation of Russian cuisine, in particular, the methods of heat treatment of dishes.
Soup, usually put in the oven after baking bread, and languished at a drop in temperature until cooked, insisted until lunch. It was the device of the Russian stove, which differed from the European plates, on the surface of which it was convenient to pre-fry or brown the components of the dish, combining several methods of heat treatment, set a certain direction: in the Russian stove any dish was either baked, or stewed, or cooked at the lowest temperature.
Soup and porridge, meat and fish, pies and bread, vegetables, fruits and mushrooms, old Russian drinks - everything was prepared in the oven, a prototype of modern gas and electric ovens, steam ovens, microwaves, and European-style stoves appeared in Russia in Petrovskiy times. At the same time, a complex heat treatment of cabbage, including the passaging of spicy and sour dressing, appeared. But, as before, the mode of languor is considered the classic cooking soup, and there are hundreds of recipes for cooking soup in the oven or a slow cooker, in accordance with old traditions. This method of cooking fully preserves the taste and aroma of real Russian soup.
It remains to add that, in addition to the listed features, various recipes of Russian soup supplement the culinary notebooks, thanks to regional features. Russian cabbage soup differs in the composition of ingredients, depending on the local cuisine: Pomeranian cabbage soup made from salted or smoked fish, Ural and Siberian soup, Don and so on. Shchi can be peasant, boyar, monastic, Cossack. Considering that most of the calendar days of the year in the Orthodox calendar are lean, Russian cuisine in the entire history of Christianity in Russia has been enriched with recipes for meat soup without meat and dairy products, while meat soup from mushrooms, vegetables and fish in it is no less than meat products. skoromnyh.
But the main ingredient is always cabbage, or something that can replace it: spinach and sorrel, nettle, sour. Without the sour component, soup is not soup. For this dish are also required sour and spicy dressing. Until the middle of the seventeenth century, a zabelenka made of sour cream, cream or flour (for lean meat soup) was also an indispensable component, but with the introduction of transparent French broths, many recipes for transparent meat soup appeared. At the same time, even to the first dishes prepared on the basis of broths, it is customary to serve sour cream, sometimes - mayonnaise, apple with horseradish or other sauces that serve as a jam.
You can talk about Russian soups for an infinitely long time, but, as they say, it’s better to see once ... or it’s better to cook and try once - you will not be fed up with conversations.
1. Russian Russian cabbage is green, with nettle
Beef (breast) 1.2 kg
Ham 400 g
Roots: carrots, parsley, celery - 1 pc.
Leek 1 pc.
Onions, bulb 2 pcs.
Nettle (young shoots) 600 g
Butter 60 g
Flour 50 g
Spicy greens, leaf
Sour cream, homemade 250 g
Boiled eggs 5 pcs. Cooking:
Boil the broth with the roots and strain. Nettle bust, wash and put in boiling water. Boil, fold through a sieve, then wipe or smash with a blender. In a pan, fry the flour, add butter, grated nettles and a little broth. Bring to a boil and pour into broth. Cut the meat into pieces, and add to the broth, too, and boil. Add sour cream to the soup, add chopped greens. Serve with half a hard-boiled egg on a plate.
* If desired, nettles can be replaced with sorrel or spinach.
2. Lazy Russian cabbage soup with fresh cabbage and apples
Apples, sour (large) 5 pcs.
Set for broth (pork with bone, chicken) 2.1 kg
Spicy dressing: bay leaf, pepper, roots
Fresh white cabbage 1.2 kg
Flour 90 g
Nut Oil 120g
Sour cream 300 g
Boil the broth, as usual, and strain. Put chopped cabbage, peeled slices of apples, pieces of meat, separated from the bones, into the pan. Mix butter with flour and sour cream, add sour dressing to the broth. Stew in the oven until soft. Chop the greens and add it to the tureen before serving.
3. Russian soup - an unusual recipe
Try to use the old culinary secrets of Russian cuisine. This recipe is taken from the cookbook “A Guide for Young Housewives”, 1870. It was compiled by Naidenov, who used earlier editions in his book starting in 1760. In the recipe, weight measures are recalculated and adapted to the modern system.
For red broth:
Beef (ribs with pulp) 1.6 kg
Beef fat 300 g
Roots (in stock) - to taste
Water 4.0 l
Cabbage, fresh 1.5 kg
Dutch cheese 250 g
Sausages (any) 4 pcs. (approximately 600 g)
Madera 300 ml
Red broth 2.5 l
Red broth is not water tinted with beetroot or tomato, but a special technology for producing very rich broth from baked meat and vegetables. Preheat oven to medium temperature. Put on a baking sheet of coarsely chopped roots. It can be halves of large onions, carrots, celery, parsnip, parsley. Between them, put pieces of soft inner fat and ribs, or any bones that should have enough flesh on it. Bake in the oven until caramel crust.
Salting the meat when baking is not necessary, but, here, add fragrant spices, smear with honey or some sweet and sour berry sauce to speed up the caramelization, but you must lubricate the meat at the stage of semi-preparation so that it does not burn much.
Put baked meat with vegetables in a pan, cover with water. Water will be required as much as necessary to cover the meat. Bring the broth to a temperature close to the boiling point over high heat, then switch to simmering mode. Preparation time of red broth: in the oven - 1.5 hours, on the stove - about an hour. After that, strain it.
Ready broth can be stored frozen and used as needed. Of course, for original, even very sophisticated Russian cabbage soup, such a broth is better prepared in advance.
Put chopped cabbage into the pan, along with grated Dutch cheese, beef pulp and sliced sausages. Pour all the ingredients with broth and cook until the cabbage is soft. Remove soup from the stove and pour wine into the pan. When serving, place appliances with salt and ground nutmeg on the table, in Russian. You can decorate with spicy greens and a slice of lemon.
4. Russian soup, lazy teams
600 g ham
Chicken fillet 800 g
Beef and fat pork (pulp) 1.2 kg
Cabbage, sour 1,5 kg
Turnip and spicy roots in an assortment - 150 g
Parsley, green 100 g
Sour cream 200 g
Oil 90 g
Flour 100 g
Slice all the ingredients and immediately fold them into cast-iron dishes, parsley and sour greens. Oil rub with flour and add to the total mass. Fill with water and roast in the oven until cooked. Add sour cream and chopped parsley to the plate before serving. Note: turnips, of course, can be replaced by potatoes, but remember that a forgotten turnip perfectly stimulates the immune system, and potatoes contain starch, that is, carbohydrates, and stimulates going to the gym to lose weight. If you do not find an old and good Russian turnip, then in this recipe you can do without potatoes.
5. Russian cabbage soup from young veal with spinach and asparagus
Pulp, beef 2.5 kg
Roots for broth 250 g
Asparagus 400 g
Oil 120 g
White bread 600 g
Boiled eggs 6 pcs.
Meat cut into portions, put with the roots in a saucepan. Cook in the oven until cooked. Strain the broth. Return the meat to it, boil it, add the prepared green mass and cook until soft. In each serving, put chopped boiled eggs, parsley. Serve salt and pepper separately. Prepare croutons for shcham. Slice white bread into thin slices, spread with butter and bake in the oven.
6. Russian beef cabbage soup with sauerkraut and cereals
Meat (fillet) 800 g
Bay leaf, spices
Oatmeal 100 g
Sour cabbage 1.0 kg (with pickle)
Onions 200 -250 g
Cut the meat, put it in a saucepan, add 2.5 liters of water and boil until boiling, then, after removing the foam, add the bay leaf and the pepper mixture. Boil for about ten minutes, then add chopped onion, cereal and cabbage with brine. Boil until soft cabbage over low heat. Salt to taste a few minutes until cooked.
Oatmeal can be replaced by any other, to taste.
7. Russian cabbage soup from fresh cabbage with kvass
Meat 1.2 kg (any)
Onions, parsley, celery - for broth
Bread kvass and water (1: 1) 2.5 L
White cabbage 1.0 kg
Pour the meat with kvass and water, boil until half cooked, and then add the chopped celery and parsley roots and onions. Stew until the meat is soft. Add shredded cabbage and chopped greens. Season with spices. Serve with sour cream.
Russian soup - useful tips
- Shchi based on vegetable or mushroom broth should be salted at the very end of cooking.
- To add cream or milk to boiling broth, and to avoid, at the same time, coagulating them, pour a portion of the broth from the pan, cool it and mix with milk. Then heat the prepared mixture separately and pour into the broth.
- So that the soup in the fish broth does not have an unpleasant fish smell, soak the cleaned and washed fish in vinegar or prepare water with lemon juice and zest. Well removes the fishy smell of bay leaf, cardamom. In the old Russian cuisine, fish shears were cooked on the basis of a broth from an old rooster, black grouse, quail.
- To make sauerkraut really useful, do not add sugar or vinegar when salting. This method of preparation will take a little more time, but the content of probiotics will increase significantly.