Shchi

Shchi is more than thousand years old Russian soup. Its simpler version is made of cabbage and onion. Richer shchi includes cabbage, meat, carrots or parsley roots, herbs (onion, garlic, pepper, celery, bay leaf, dill) and some sour ingredients (smetana, sauerkraut, apples, pickle water).

Shchi soup
Shchi soup

Smetana is a dairy product made by souring heavy cream. It is not entirely Russian product. It exists in many parts of Central and Eastern Europe too. Smetana is added when shchi is served. Russians say that this soup is best when eaten with some rye bread. Vegan version of shchi also exists. Sour (“kislye”) shchi is a variety of the soup made of sauerkraut (pickled cabbage). Grey (“serye”) shchi includes the green outer leaves of the cabbage head. Especially during summer Russians eat green (“zelyonye”) shchi which instead of cabbage includes sorrel (Rumex acetosa) leaves.