Dec 25, 2010
Merry Christmas to everyone! We are enjoying the second day of Christmas, watching Morozko - a Russian fairytale, known as Mrazik and shown on TV every Christmas in Slovakia. We had a Slovak-style Christmas this year, with all the authentic foods and traditions. In the beginning of our Christmas meal, there was just an apple, garlic, and honey on the table, and Oblatky - very thin, lightweight Christmas waffles. We cut the apple crosswise to see if it was clean and white inside, which meant we’d be healthy during the next year, and then we rubbed our Oblatky with garlic to be even healthier, and drizzled them with honey to have a sweet life. Then we could begin our meal.
Kapustnica is a traditional Slovak soup made with sauerkraut, ham, spiced sausage, and dried porcini. If the sauerkraut is very sour, it can be balanced by a spoonful of raisins or prune jam. The soup resembles Russian Shchi, but is much spicier. I love the sour, sweet and spicy Kapustnica! Last winter Stano’s Mom made a vegetarian version of this soup specially for me, but this year I tried it with ham and sausage. I have to say that it tastes great also without meat! Just add more porcini and don’t ignore the prune jam. I’m sure you would enjoy the intense, spicy flavour and the beautiful brick-red colour of Kapustnica. Serve is with Garlic Rolls, and you couldn’t think of a winter treat more comforting and warming!
1 onion, roughly chopped
1 spiced dry sausage
Handful of dried porcini, steeped in cold water
1 clove garlic
1 tbsp all-purpose flour
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp powdered sweet paprika
1 tbsp dark raisins or 1 tbsp prune jam
2 l boiling water
In a large saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons oil and fry the chopped onion. Add flour and stir until well-blended. Add paprika and immediately pour in the boiling water (or else the paprika would burn and become bitter). Stir and bring to a boil.
Add dried porcini, sausage and ham. Cook under a lid until ham and sausage are tender (10 to 20 minutes depending on size). Take out the ham ans sausage when ready and set aside.
Add sauerkraut to the soup and cook under a lid until sauerkraut is tender, depending on type of sauerkraut. We cooked ours for almost an hour, but if the sauerkraut was initially tender, it might be done in 15 minutes!
When the sauerkraut is almost ready, add grated garlic and prune jam. Check if you need to season the soup with salt. Cut the cooked ham and sausage into pieces. Return them into saucepan and remove saucepan from heat.
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