Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Back to basics

Last week, at hotel Intercontinental in Warsaw (where they serve a truly, truly amazing lunch of sushi and stir fries for which you hand-pick the ingredients and creme brulee - don't know why I didn't take pictures, must be better next time) they served, among a million other things, some Polish sauerkraut soup. This got us talking food with some colleagues and it turned out that Finns, for example, don't do sauerkraut in soup.
This resulted in two things, me having a crazy craving for the traditional Estonian sauerkraut soup (not very glamorous, but I blame it on the Estonian % of my genes) and me promising to send a recipe. Two in one solution is this blog-entry.

Traditional Estonian sauerkraut soup (meatless version): - 400 gr sauerkraut
- 2 potatoes - sliced
- barley (a handful)
- 2 carrots - sliced
- 2 bay leafs
- cumin seeds
- 1 onion - sliced
- fresh dill, chopped

Usually this soup is done with meat, it can be done with pork or beef or some smoked meat, like say spare-ribs. In that case the recipe starts with boiling the meat off the bones. But it's quite heavy without the meat and since there is no snow, no minus-degrees and generally no winter, I didn't really feel like a pre-hibernation meal and went for the lighter version.

Bring water to boil with some salt, add barley. Slice potatoes, carrots and onion and add to the water. Add sauerkraut, cumin, bay-leaves and dill weed. Boil until all is nice and soft. If the sauerkraut is not sour enough (sometimes happens), squeeze in half a lemon.

Easy-peasy. Good for hangovers and pregnant people :)

And talking about Estonian, traditional, sauerkraut and non-glamorous in one sentence gives me no other choice but to share with you the inside joke Estonians decided to send to the Eurovision song-contest this week :)

Courtesy of Youtube:

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