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There are numerous varieties of this soup in Russia. There is sour shchi made of sauerkraut  or green shchi with sorrel, spinach or nettle. Schi has been known in Russian since 9th century and cabbage was first broght to Russia from Byzantium. Due to its simplicity, it has become quite common meal prepared by different strata of society. There is another factor which added to its popularity. It might be cooked with or without meat which makes it compatible with different religions in Russia.  So a popular Russian saying sprang from this "Shchi da kasha- pischa nasha" which can be translated as "Shchi and kasha (oatmeal or buckwheat) are our staples".


•    3 tablespoons butter or vegetable oil
•    1 large chopped onion
•    1 large head cabbage cut into shreds
•    1 large peeled and grated carrot
•    1 bay leaf
•    Black peppercorns to taste
•    8 cups water or vegetable stock or beaf stock
•    2 large peeled and chopped  potatoes
•    2 large peeled, seeded and chopped tomatoes or 1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes
•    Salt and pepper to taste
•    Fresh dill or parsley for garnish
•    Sour cream for garnish

1.    Prepare beef stock or bring to a boil water with peppercorns and bay leaves. Boil potatoes till they are tender.
2.    Add cabbage, reduce heat and simmer, covered, 15 minutes.
3.    Meanwhile in a frying pan sauté onion in butter or vegetable oil until translucent add carrot and  sauté about 3 minutes, stirring frequently.
4.    Add  a mix of carrots and onions as well as tomatoes to the saucepan  and simmer fo about 5-7 min. Adjust seasonings.
5.    Serve soup in bowls with chopped dill/parley and sour cream as garnish. Accompany with rye bread, if desired.

Moscow tour guide can show you the best reataurants in Moscow where fifferent varieties of this dish might be tasted.

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