I love the fact that Russian cooking includes a lot of cuisines.
In The Best of Russian Cooking by Alexandra Kropotkin, soups not only get their own section, it’s early on in the cookbook, which isn’t always the case with North American cookbooks. I like to believe this is because they place a lot of importance on them.
I also love that there are a ton of both cold and hot soups available.
According to Wikipedia:
“Russian soups can be divided into at least seven large groups:
- Chilled soups based on kvass, such as tyurya, okroshka, and botvinya.
- Light soups and stews based on water and vegetables.
- Noodle soups with meat, mushrooms, and milk.
- Soups based on cabbage, most prominently shchi.
- Thick soups based on meat broth, with a salty-sour base like rassolnik and solyanka.
- Fish soups such as ukha.
- Grain- and vegetable-based soups.”
Over at Yulinka Cooks, Julia in Wisconsin gives you the low down on Borsch with her Borsch 2.0 entry (note there is no “t” in hers).
Schi, a traditional Russian soup, might sound a little hearty for this warm weather, but I say give it a try.
If you live in Seattle, you can learn to make Russian soups like a pro. But since you probably don’t, you can make some of the soups from The Food and Cooking of Russia by Lesley Chamberlain, discover Russian Food Culture and learn to read Russian menus.
In the meantime, Clear Russian Fish Soup with Lime and Dill sounds delightful:
* 8 cups fish stock, clarify
* 1 pound white fish fillets, sliced into 6 serving pieces (salmon fillets are also excellent)
* 6 paper thin slices of lime
* 1 Tablespoon finely cut fresh dill leaves
Bring stock to a boil in a large saucepan. Lower in the fish fillets and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 3-4 minutes–until the fish is just opaque. Carefully lift the fish out and put into flat soup bowls. Pour hot stock on top, squeeze a little lime juice into each bowl, float a thin lime slice on top, and sprinkle with dill. Serve at once.