I made Russian Lenten Pokhlebka/Soup to enjoy with the braided rye bread. It is one of traditional soup. I read that this Russian soup is light in taste and used mainly as appetizers; not dense to lose the appetite of main dish. It is a clear broth cooked only with water and vegetables. I also read that main ingredients in this soup are potatoes, onions turnips and some lentils. This soup contains only soft veggies that do not have long boiling but is known for their characteristic aromas. It should not be over cooked, and no fats or oils are used; only spicy herbs like parsley, dill, celery as well as garlic is used. It tastes great with freshly baked rye bread. Adding any extras like cream, butter will spoil the taste of Pokhelbka.
After reading all these wonderful things about Pokhlebka, I thought I need to try it immediately, further more I had baked a fresh rye bread. I followed these two recipes link is here and here. I tweaked recipe as I had only dried parsley in my hand, no dill and not fond of having garlic in my soup. I feel frying onions, cabbage and carrot is must to get nice aroma and taste. I spiced the soup with black pepper and Marjoram.
With lot of expectation I made the soup. Taste wise it is okay somewhat bland, even with my hubby’s Tabasco technique (He adds Tabasco to soup, noodles or some time soy sauce) it taste same. Soy sauce addition is out of question as it is not Chinese soup it is Russian soup we want the original taste.
I don’t think this soup is not going to be on our menu any way. I think if we add some more lemon juice or some more spices it may taste better. If you have any suggestions you are welcome. I will check with my Russian friend’s mom also and let you know to how to improve the taste. Here goes the recipe.
Pearl Barely: 1/3 cup
Potato: ¾ cup (chopped into cubes)
Cabbage: 1 ½ cup (finely chopped)
Carrot: 1 cup (grated)
Onion: 1 cup (finely chopped)
Parsley: ½ teaspoon (I used dried one)
Salt: 1 teaspoon or to taste
Black Pepper: ½ teaspoon
Marjoram: ½ teaspoon
Oil : 2 tablespoon
Water: 5 cup
Lime juice: ½ teaspoon
How I made
In a medium sauce pot cook the washed pearl barely with 2 cup water and ½ teaspoon of salt until it cooked about 75 % it took me 20 minutes. Drain some water so that soup won't be cloudy.
To this add chopped potato and cook for another 15 minutes or until potato is done not mushy.
In the mean time heat a pan add oil and fry onion until they become translucent or change in color it took me about 7 minutes. To this add grated carrots and cabbage and fry for another 6 minutes.
Add this fried onion-cabbage-carrots mixture to the soup and add rest of water, salt and pepper and cook for another 10 minutes. To this add dried parsley, marjoram and lime juice. switch off the flame.
Enjoy warm with rye bread. Finish it in same day; this soup is not good for reheating.
Preparation time: 55 minutes
Yield: 4 serving
Verdict: Taste okay, bland
Will you make it again: I don’t think so.