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Sunday, May 12, 2013

Spring Vegetable Soup ( Sour, Vegetarian Recipe)

In East Europe soup has a very delicious and rather versatile sister, that I can only translate as “sour soup”. This kind of dish is different than regular soups (say, for example, vegetable, potato, broccoli, cauliflower, etc, that usually have a creamy consistency). Recipes vary, from chicken, beef, pork, game, or vegetable dishes, but they have in common the fact that, in the end, it is used a sour ingredient, like lemon juice, fermented cereals, vinegar or even the liquid from pickles to give it a strong, sour note.

For our recipe we used 200 grams of new potatoes (we had really tiny ones, make sure the potatoes have the same size as the tomato halves), 200 grams of cherry tomatoes (halved), 150 grams of green beans (chopped), 5 green onions (finely chopped), 4-5 baby carrots (diced), 1 medium green pepper (diced), parsley (finely diced), 100 ml of tomato sauce (basically tomato juice), 2 handfuls of chopped purple Orach leaves (also known as salt bush or Artiplex halimus, also finely diced), 1 liter of fermented cereal water (honestly, in Romanian this thing is called „bors”, no idea how to translate it, maybe this will help.

In a tall heavy base pan, heat up 2 tbs of olive oil, then saute the carrots and the onions for 3-4 minutes. Add water until it fills about ¾ of the pan. Let it boil on a medium high heat. You can use a lid and reduce the cooking time, it’s up to you. Taste one piece of carrot, when it’s cooked half way , add the beans, pepper and cook for another 10 minutes, after which add the potatoes and the cherry tomatoes. When the potatoes are almost cooked, add the tomato juice and the Orach leaves, let it boil for 5 minutes, then add the “bors” or lemon juice, reduce heat, simmer for another 5 minutes, then add the parsley and bring to another boil before removing from heat. This combination of vegetables was one of our tries, you can always mix it up, just remember that if you plan on using hard boiling vegetables (like celery root or parsnip) throw it in the pot at the beginning or sauté it first. And, of course,  add any delicate vegetable  in at the end (we made this one with baby lettuce and it was delicious, just added it with the parsley).


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