Vegetarian Shchi Soup is a flavourful and healthier way to eat Russian Shchi Soup. There’s nothing more comforting than a bowl of homemade soup on a cold day, or when you’re not feeling well. Vegetarian soups are still full of flavour, especially if you make the stock properly, then you won’t even realize you’re eating a soup without meat.
Vegetarian Shchi soup has been eaten in Russia for about a 1000 years, ever since cabbage was introduced to Russia. It can be made with meat or as a vegetarian dish. Shchi is a staple on every Russian table, usually served with sour cream and rye bread. There’s a saying in Russian,”Щи да каша — пища наша.” which means Shchi and kasha – are our food. The main difference between Shchi and Borscht is the addition of beets.
There are many reasons to eat a vegetarian soup. You might be a part-time vegetarian when observing Lent, Ash Wednesday, Good Friday, or even sometimes plain old every single Fridays (according to your faith). Perhaps you want to start cutting out fats from your diet, and a healthy meat free diet could possibly help lower your cholesterol. So many reasons to eat a vegetarian dish.
It’s always best to make your own vegetable stock from scratch. I sometimes prepare the stock the night before, then really all that’s left is to prep the vegetables for the Vegetarian Shchi Soup. There are many ways to prepare Russian cabbage soups, from Shchi to the many varieties of Borscht, all are delicious, even this vegetarian one! Bon Appetit! Приятного аппетита!
- 5 litres of vegetable stock
- ½ small cabbage chopped and shredded
- 3 medium potatoes cubed in small pieces
- 1 large onion chopped
- 1 carrot grated
- 3 medium tomatoes chopped (or 1 tablespoon of tomato paste)
- 1 small red pepper diced (capsicum)
- oil for frying
- 1 bay leaf
- salt and pepper to taste
- chopped bunch of parsley and dill for garnish
- Make the vegetable stock, simmered and strained, enough for 5 litres. Can be prepared the night before, or use store bought stock. Bring to a boil.
- Add the shredded cabbage, bay leaf and diced potatoes and cook for about 20 minutes, or until potatoes are cooked.
- While the soup is simmering, heat about 2 tablespoons of oil in a frying pan. Fry chopped onions and grated carrots until they are starting to lightly brown.
- Add the red pepper and fry for two minutes.
- Add the chopped tomatoes including juices and cook for 2 minutes.
- Add the fried onion/tomato mixture to the soup when the potatoes are cooked. Stir and simmer for about 10 minutes.
- Season the soup with Vegetable Vegeta Stock or regular salt and pepper to taste.
- Add the parsley and dill and serve with sour cream and rye bread.
- 2 large onions, quartered
- 3 celery stalks, leaves attached, roughly chopped
- 3 carrots, unpeeled, chopped into thirds
- handful mushrooms
- 4-5 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
- 1 tablespoon whole peppercorns
- Few sprigs of fresh herbs - thyme, parsley, oregano, sage, garlic chives...
- Place soup pot on the stove. Add onions, carrots, celery, garlic, mushrooms, peppercorns, and the herbs to the pot and bring to a boil.
- When it reaches the boil, simmer on low with a semi-covered lid for 2 hours. (the longer the better)
- Strain the soup into a colander over a large bowl to remove the vegetables.
- Using a cheesecloth (muslin), strain the soup again to remove the small impurities to make a clear broth.
- Your stock is now ready to use for your soup. Any excess stock, easily freezes for another meal.