Muffins recipes

National dish of Russia

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  • Independence: 25. 12. 1991
  • Capital: Moscow
  • Official language: Russian
  • Population: 143 400 000
  • Area: 17 098 242 km2
  • International code: RU
  • Currency: Russian ruble (RUB)
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  • 1 small turnip
  • 2 carrots
  • 3 tablespoons butter or 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 2 celery ribs, sliced
  • 1 white cabbage
  • 5 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 sharp eating apple, cored, peeled, and chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh dill
  • 2 teaspoons pickled cucumber juice or 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • fresh herb, to garnish
  • sour cream, to serve (optional)
  • black bread, to serve (optional)
Shchi is national food (dish) of Russia


Cut the turnips and carrots into matchstick strips. Melt the butter (or just add the oil) in a large pan and fry the turnip, carrot, onion and celery for 10 minutes. Shred the cabbage, and add to the pan with the stock, apple, bay leaves and dill and bring to the boil. Cover and simmer for 40 minutes or until the vegetables are really tender. Remove the bay leaves, then stir in the pickled cucumber juice or lemon juice and season with plenty of salt and pepper. Serve hot, garnished with fresh herbs and accompanied by sour cream and black bread.


Shchi is a Russian soup with cabbage as the primary ingredient. Its primary distinction is its sour taste, which usually originates from cabbage. When sauerkraut is used instead, the soup is called sour shchi, and soups based on sorrel, spinach, nettle, and similar plants are called green shchi or schav (Yiddish shtshav, from Polish szczaw). In the past, the term sour shchi was also used to refer to a drink, a variation of kvass, which was unrelated to the soup. Shchi is a traditional soup of Russia where it has been known as far back as the 9th century, soon after cabbage was introduced from Byzantium. Its popularity in Russia originates from several factors. Shchi is relatively easy to prepare; it can be cooked with or without various types of meat that makes it compatible with different religions; and it can be frozen and carried as a solid on a trip to be cut up when needed. Finally, it was noticed that most people do not get sick of shchi and can eat it daily. This property is referenced in the Russian saying: "Pодной отец надоест, а щи – никогда!" (Rodnoi otets nadoyest, a shchi--nikogda! "One's may become fed up with one's own father, but never with shchi!"). As a result, by the 10th century shchi became a staple food of Russia, and another popular saying sprang from this fact: "Щи да каша – пища наша." (Shchi da kasha - pishcha nasha "Shchi and kasha are our staples"). The major components of shchi were originally cabbage, meat (beef, pork, lamb, or poultry), mushrooms, flour, and spices (based on onion and garlic). Cabbage and meat were cooked separately and smetana was added as a garnish before serving. Shchi is traditionally eaten with rye bread. The ingredients of shchi gradually changed. Flour, which was added in early times to increase the soup's caloric value, was excluded for the sake of finer taste. The spice mixture was enriched with black pepper and bay leaf, which were imported to Russia around the 15th century, also from Byzantium. Meat was sometimes substituted by fish, and carrot and parsley could be added to the vegetables. Beef was the most popular meat for shchi, while pork was more common in Ukraine. The water to cabbage ratio varied and whereas early shchi were often so viscous that a spoon could stand in it, more diluted preparation was adopted later.

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