Monday, March 10, 2008

Soviet Kitsch: Soup

It’s time for another installment of Russian Retro Recipe Cards. This time, the topic’s soup. I've documented Russians’ love of soup pretty thoroughly on this blog, but I’m always surprised by the variety and the sheer oddness of some soups described in Russian and Soviet cookbooks. Let’s take a look at a few (from Soviet soup recipe cards circa 1988): Got random processed meat products in the fridge? Here's the soup for you: solianka, which one Russian cookbook author calls "mixed-up meat soup." This basically a beef-based vegetable soup with chunks of sausage, hot dogs, bacon, etc. Every soup needs a side: above are potato dumplings. I think the best side, good rye bread aside, is homemade pirozhki.
Fruit soup! Rhubarb-apple-strawberry soup, with a side of marinated apples (yes, you can pickle apples) and slices of lemon. This is served cold in the summer.
Milk soup--hot milk with rice or pasta, served with a pat of butter in the middle of the bowl. I think of this as comfort food, even though I've got no good reason to eat it anymore (milk, carbs and butter will no longer make me grow big and strong, alas). This is food for when you're sick with a cold or flu.
Some sort of fish soup. Is that smoked herring to the right?
That's 24-hour schi (sauerkraut soup). Schi is usually made a day in advance to allow the flavors to settle, but this recipe has you freeze the soup for a day and then defrost and heat before serving.


adele said...

The "random processed meat products" soup doesn't sound that far removed from my mother's "Kitchen Sink Soup," which consists of the week's leftovers, dumped into a pot and boiled with noodles. (She has made stir-fries with leftover lunchmeat, so it's really quite similar.)

I would eat the cold fruit soup, though. Do you have a recipe for that? I tried looking under "soup", but didn't find anything.

Margarita Andreevna said...

I've seen solyanka described as the hostess's rescue--if you have a party with a meats and cheese platter, and the meats don't get eaten--make solyanka the next day! This is from "Kylinarnaya kniga lentyaki" by Dontsova. I love that book--silly home anecdotes intersperesed with conversational-style recepies. Something to the effect of "oh, take some of this and that, and you know, cook it".

Yulinka said...

Adele--I've never made fruit soup, but I can send you the recipe. Just give me a day or two...

Margarita--My mom might have that book! But I've never much liked solyanka.

litsa said...

You should never, never, never give milk soup to somebody who has a flu! They cannot digest it - during a flu the enzyme for milk digestion (lactase) gets destroyed. They will throw up and get very very nauseous, and this will definitely not help getting better. More information about this too common problem here:
Milk Intolerance

I could not digest pure milk already as a child, but my mother forced me to eat a similar milk soup, and I got sick every time. But instead of skipping the soup or checking with a doctor, they kept punishing me for getting sick!

Yulinka said...

Litsa--Really? I didn't know that. Hot, spiced milk is my go-to beverage when I have a cold, but I admit that I've never tried it when I was sick with the flu. I'll keep this in mind.

- AbsolutStoli said...

looks like the fish soup is an ukha, pretty easy to make, but definitely depends on the quality of the fish. im pretty sure its fresh fish, not selyodka.

great post! i love soups (except for that milk one...hate warm milk), and russian kitsch. my mom used to make green borscht with young krapiva, sooooooooooooo good! rassolnik was also a favorite. i need to start making soups.

were these all the cards in the kitsch, or just your favorites?

Yulinka said...

Stoli--I picked the most interesting and unusual recipes. There are actually more cards, but I didn't feel like scanning them all. I haven't had some of these soups in ages!

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