Bowl of Shchi
(click to enlarge)

Shchi - Russian Cabbage Soup
Russia
  -   Shchi
Makes:
Effort:
Sched:
DoAhead:
4 qts  
***
Note-1  
Best

Perhaps the most popular soups in Russia, Shchi is made in endless variation. Generally you will start by making a batch of Russian Beef Stock which provides both the stock and the meat for this recipe. Serve in bowls with plenty of sour cream in a separate bowl to be stirred in as desired.





6
12
3/8
8
1-1/4
1-1/2
1
------
4
2
2
8
------
1-1/2
14
1
------
c
oz
oz
oz
c
T
T
---
oz
oz
oz
oz
---
T
oz
cl
---
Beef Stock (1)
Beef, cooked (2)
Mushrooms dry (3)
Cabbage, green
Sauerkraut (4)
Butter
Tomato Paste
-- Aromatics
Onion
Celery & leaves
Carrot
Turnip, purple
-----------
Butter
Diced Tomatoes
Garlic
-- Accompany with
Sour Cream

  1. Make the BEEF STOCK if you haven't already. Put it in an adequate size pot (5 quart).
  2. Chill the COOKED BEEF so it cuts well and cut it into bite size pieces.
  3. Soak the MUSHROOMS in warm water for 1/2 hour or more (if Shiitaki) or at least 4 hours (if Porcini). Squeeze dry and cut into small pieces.
  4. Core and shred CABBAGE. Drain SAUERKRAUT but don't squeeze dry. Make a couple cuts through it so strands aren't too long and mix with Cabbage.
  5. In a 3 quart sauté pan or a wok heat 1-1/2 T butter and fry Cabbage mix stirring over moderate heat until cabbage is softened and coated with butter. Stir in Tomato Paste, then add all to the stock pot. Bring to a boil and simmer while doing the following steps.
  6. Chop ONION medium, cut CARROT into short matchsticks, chop CELERY medium, dice TURNIP about 1/2 inch and mix all.
  7. In the pan used for the cabbage, heat 1-1/2 T butter and fry the Onion mix and Mushrooms stirring until onions are lightly colored. Add to the stock pot.
  8. Add DICED TOMATOES to the pot and season with Salt and Pepper to taste. Continue simmering for 20 minutes or so.
  9. Chop GARLIC small and add to the pot along with the Cooked Beef and add water to get the degree of soupiness you want. Bring to a boil and simmer another 5 minutes.
  10. Take off the heat and let the soup rest in a cool place for a few hours or overnight.
  11. Bring back to a simmer and serve with Sour Cream on the side.
NOTES:
  1. Beef Stock:   It's best to start this soup by making a batch of Russian Beef Stock which takes about 4 hours but not a lot of attention most of that time. Of course you can use beef stock made by other methods too. Once you have the stock it takes about an hour or so to make this soup, but it's best made ahead and allowed to sit for at least a few hours or overnight to mature, then reheat.
  2. Beef:   If you've made the Russian Beef Stock, you have a nice lump of cooked beef to use for this recipe. Otherwise use any meat that's been cooked tender.
  3. Mushrooms:   This is an optional ingredient, about half the recipes include it and half don't. Russia is a land of mushrooms and dried Bolitus (Porcini) are common in the pantry, but dried porcini are very expensive here and usually not on hand. Chinese black mushrooms (actually dried shiitakes) can be substituted with some difference in flavor. 4 medium Shiitakes is about 3/8 ounce.
  4. Sauerkraut:   A good fresh kraut of the sort they put up in plastic bags is best, or a good Polish kraut from a jar.
  5. U.S. measure: t=teaspoon, T=Tablespoon, c=cup, qt=quart, oz=ounce, #=pound, cl=clove, in=inch, ar=as required tt=to taste
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