What do you do with all those ripe tomatoes you have just picked off from your garden, or bought at a farmer’s market? You can share them with your neighbors, if they don’t grow their own, and if you are certain that they like tomatoes and are not allergic to them. If you decide to keep them, but you really do not want to spend lots of time in the kitchen, by making home made tomato sauce, you can turn them into a very fast and easy, yet very tasty tomato soup.
If you like tangy flavored soups, you will love Sorrel Borscht (Shchav). My first experience with tasting this dish was in a Polish restaurant, while visiting my family in Poland. My husband really liked the slightly tangy taste of this soup, so I have been preparing it during the sorrel growing season. The main ingredient is sorrel, of course, a simple herb but not easily found in a grocery store, but rather in a specialty food shop, or a garden (your own or your friend’s).
You can find a ready made Shchav, in the Kosher section at your favorite grocery store, but it’s taste does not measure up to the fresh, home made version. Once you make it at home, you most likely will never want to buy it pre-made.
Once my garden produces an abundance of fresh herbs and vegetables, the time is right to cook Botvinka. Soups are very popular in Eastern Europe, and are the first course of a lunch of dinner meal, just like tossed salads in the US.
The name for this soup derives from the description of the tops (botvinka – leaves and stalks) of very young red beet plants, which are the major ingredient in this soup. This dish is full of goodness of fresh, young, green leafy vegetables, and because they are so tender, they require very short cooking time.
Christmas is my favorite holiday of the year. Everyone is rushing around to get shopping done, attend parties, put final touches on holiday decorations, and plan holiday meals.
The Ukrainians have many rich traditions associated with the celebration of Christmas. Many of them have been modernized to accommodate everyone’s busy lifestyle, but others are still kept original, and passed on from generation to generation.