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Lean soup

In the days of Lent, it is not at all necessary to nibble, figuratively speaking, only carrots and apples.

Olga Syutkina, an expert on old-fashioned Russian cuisine, offers a hearty, simple and lean dish for every day — soup-kalya.

Writing about a post in a culinary blog is not easy. Maybe because, as one of my acquaintances says, fasting is not about food at all.

It is rather a state of mind, its inner need.

Another thing is when tasty and healthy dishes reinforce your spiritual mood, set a happy mood and the right thoughts.

Lenten table in Russia there has long been an apotheosis of fish and mushroom dishes.

Yes, not all days fish are allowed, but not all and adhere to such strict rules.

Therefore, let us recall one of the brightest Lenten dishes, which is also one of the oldest Russian gastronomic rarities.

We will talk about Calla. With emphasis on the last syllable.

After all, «where is the calea, there I am«- Leads the old adage to»Explanatory Dictionary of the Living Great Russian Language»Vladimir Dal.

He also explains the nature of this already pretty forgotten. soup. «Kalya is a genus of borscht, chowder on cucumber pickle, with cucumbers, with beets and with meat, and in fasting, with fish and caviar; Caviar soup with pickled cucumbers«.

However, we will add after reading not one old cookbook, this dish is perfectly cooked with mushrooms, and, at the end of the Fast, with chicken.

It is practically impossible to reproduce the old recipe literally today — due to the lack of weights and measures in the original, due to the changed attitude to the products (in particular, to black caviar), the concepts of tasty and healthy food became different. Yes, and the fish is allowed in the rare days of Lent.

Therefore, we will cook the most that the fast mushroom calcium.

Adapted to the current tastes, the recipe will fit perfectly into our «modern table«.

And without forcing the hostess to spend excessive time on cooking, at the same time will give her the opportunity to shine with skills and historical knowledge.

Recipe from the Cookbook (guide to the preparation of cheap, tasty and harmless dishes), 1879 edition.

We will need 4-5 servings:

  • 300 g of forest mushrooms (fresh or thawed) or 100 grams of dried
  • 300 g pickled cucumbers
  • 100 g onions
  • 1 tbsp. l vegetable oil
  • Salt
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper

How to cook:
Wash the mushrooms, cut into small pieces, put in a pan with cold water (1.5 l), bring to a boil, remove the foam, reduce the heat and cook for 20 minutes.

While broth is preparing, chop the onion and chop the pickled cucumbers.

Mushrooms throw in a colander (the broth does not pour out, return to the pan).

Heat the vegetable oil in the pan and sauté the onion until golden brown, then add the mushrooms and fry it all together for 10 minutes.

Spice up.

If you want, you can add a spoonful of flour when frying, then the soup will become more satisfying.

In a saucepan with mushroom broth, shift the onions with mushrooms, cucumbers, bring to a boil and cook over very low heat for 10 minutes.

Optionally, the soup can be filled with almond milk.

The main secret of the success of this soup is not to spare cucumbers and mushrooms, the main components of calcium.

Illustrations: Olga Syutkina

Olga Syutkina:
“The kitchen of my love” was the name of my first book.

Since then, in addition to traditional gastronomy, my husband and I have taken up the history of Russian cuisine, have written a new book — “Uninvented history of Russian cuisine”.

She is about the past of our gastronomy, about how it arose and developed. About the people who created it.

Now comes the continuation of this work — already about the Soviet period.

Together with readers, we are trying to figure out whether the Soviet cuisine was a logical stage in the development of the great Russian cuisine or was an accidental zigzag of history.

Here I will try to tell you about how sometimes a wonderfully story comes to our today’s world, to our kitchens and tables.

Recipes Olga Syutkina:

Gingerbread Pancakes

Let’s just say: real Russian pancakes were made from buckwheat flour and called red.

Milk pancakes were made from wheat flour with milk and eggs added.

See below.

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