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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 the 9th century and cabbage was first brought to Russia from Byzantium. Due to its simplicity, it has become quite a 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 beef 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 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 for 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 restaurants in Moscow where different varieties of this dish might be tasted. We'd highly recommend trying  schi in Sergiev Posad where you go during your Moscow 3 day tour.

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