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Good evening to all and have a nice evening.I publish my various stories about different dishes.But today I want to touch on the subject of soups.
I cook them differently: traditional (as my mother and grandmother taught me) and not.
Our soup, long talked about (just kidding), is an essential part of our daily diet and a guarantee of a healthy body.
Since childhood, we have been used to starting our evening meal with this rich and flavoursome dish.
I have never felt healthier than when I make a bowl of soup for my children, and adults should also enjoy a hot main course for lunch, especially in modern life where there is no time for breakfast and lunch.
Ukrainian cuisine is characterised by a relatively wide range of different recipes.In Ukraine, however, hot soups are most commonly used, such as borsch with pampushki, green borsch, kulesh and cold soups (okroshka). Other types of soup can be made into a rich fish soup (kha).
For me, the best soup cups are metal and enameled containers. However, for some types of soups you can use other containers - for example, a cast iron kettle on an open fire. When we bought our house, I had a "Russian stove" but we gave it up because it took up too much space and was getting old. I used to cook in a clay oven, the smoke and taste of the roast is incomparable! And what a treat it is with melted milk and potatoes in foil, as we say "to get hot", i.e. just cooked, delicious, hot and with sauerkraut or fermented apples.
It is the new technology and I have this indispensable power tool called a multicooker. it is a great helper! it allows you to do many things, you can boil, fry, steam, bake, steam products, reheat ready meals. But that's not what it's all about.
You're not very hungry yet, are you? :-)Some time ago, I suddenly realised that there are some dishes that don't exist in my life at all. For example, harcho soup. No one in my family had ever made it or served it to me as a guest. I only have vague memories of rice pudding from a public restaurant, but I don't think I've ever willingly accepted it either. In other words, I knew the name, but I was always aware that it hid something very interesting. And that was the reason for my next visit to the kitchen and the preparation of this soup. Today I will tell you how I learned to make haricot soup.
As a result of searching the Internet and literature, I tried to create a whole of different recipes. It turned out that neither beef nor saffron was used, so I had to go to the store because saffron does not grow in our country and my husband and I do not have any calves.
So I went to work. It's hard to say why I started with the saffron infusion, but I wouldn't encourage you to do so. It's not a long process and it's not complicated.I've just discovered that you can't buy real saffron in my town, because many things are sold under that name, but certainly not the legendary, most expensive spice in the world, which is made from flower stems. The best spices in the world are dried saffron leaves from flowers of different origins, which have a weaker scent and a less intense colour. But a shrewd seller at the market brought me a bag of fresh Caucasian saffron at twice the price, but it was a fraction of the price of real saffron. When one of my closest friends travels to Europe, I will order saffron from Spain in a glass jar for him. :-)
Saffron infusion is prepared in a simple way that everyone knows. A few strips (2-3 if it's real saffron, or a whole bunch if it's like me) of saffron are ground in a mortar with a small amount of coarse salt, then the whole thing is poured over two or three tablespoons of boiling water and set aside. To colour the rice in the infusion, however, you need to add clarified butter, but I didn't do that in this case. The result should be a concentrated tincture with a good yellow colour. Such a tincture can colour the rice in a poached pilaf. In my case, however, the colour intensity is far from optimal. But at least there was a taste. Is it a spice or a seasoning? Correct me if you know.
The later steps are more typical of soups. I pulled out a piece of beef (beef, not mutton) from the depths of the fridge that had been thoroughly sliced - it's a soup harcho! In ancient Georgian it means "beef soup". :-) I cut the meat off the bone and put it in a pot of water.
By the way, if you look closely at the boiling broth, you can see the beautiful grease spreading over the surface of the water. Oh, how beautiful this picture is in the rays of the rising sun somewhere high in the Caucasus Mountains, when freshly collected firewood crackles merrily under the cauldron with broth, and from the ajar door of the cabin you can see the snowy cap of majestic Kazbek. (These are just about the kind of patterns that arise in my mind at the mention of Georgia.)
When the water in the pot began to boil, I carefully and long skimmed the foam from the broth. Then I put into the pot a small carrot, an onion and a bunch of parsley. And also, of course, a few peas of allspice and a couple of bay leaves.All this boiled together for another 40 minutes.
After an hour and a half of boiling on low heat, without an intense boil, when the meat became soft enough, and the vegetables were taken out and thrown away, I got a beautiful golden transparent broth.By this time I had already washed in several waters half a cup of plain round rice.
I pounded walnuts, about a glass or so, to give the kharcho a nice Caucasian touch. You'll see. I crushed the walnuts as best I could. Not into dust, but so that they don't have to be chewed.
In a frying pan I quite traditionally prepared a roast. I finely chopped the onion and sauteed it in sunflower oil. Then added finely chopped carrots to it, fried it all a bit more, added a couple of spoons of broth, covered with a lid and left to stew over low heat for about 15-20 minutes. Nothing complicated.
And in the finished broth can safely poured our rice. Let it cook a little until soft.
When the rice is no longer hard, but still retained its elasticity, you can season our soup with spices.The first thing I poured into the pan infusion of saffron.Next went hop-suneli, ground coriander seeds, paprika in proportions "by eye".Well and chopped walnuts are also ready for landing in the bowels of kharcho soup.
Now it's time for the well-cooked dressing under the lid. Put it in the pot, too. The soup immediately turned a nice orange color. But that's not all.
With a quick, nimble motion, I finely chopped a bunch of basil and a bunch of parsley. Greens are very appropriate in this soup.
It is time to mention the "secret" component of kharcho soup. Of course, how can Georgian cuisine do without sourness? The easiest way to make it sour is to add some tomato paste or some sour tomatoes, but we know that Georgians never knew any tomatoes and they did not use them in their cooking. But they had a sour green plum - alycha - from which Georgians still make wonderful tkemali sauce. Actually, this sauce can be made by your own hands, but we have not so much with alycha in winter, so I cheated a little and took ready tkemali. A couple or three spoons of this wonderful product can and should be thrown into kharcho soup. And if there is also pomegranate juice, then put it there. Just do not overdo it.
The finishing touches have not yet been made. It's hard to stand the spicy smell wafting through the kitchen. So, quickly squeeze a few cloves of garlic into the pot.
Cover the pot and turn off the gas.It's ready!
Wait a few minutes 😂 to let the soup saturate with the flavors of all the ingredients and cool. Then you can open it and invite all your loved ones to the table)))) The soup should be nice and happy. Then it will be warm in the stomach and warm in the soul. And with fresh pie (that's another story). Try it and you won't regret it.