Bowl of Shchi

Russian Vegetable Stock
Russia
  -   Ovoshchnoy Bulyon
Makes:
Effort:
Sched:
DoAhead:
8 cups  
**
2-14 hr  
Yes

Making vegetable stock fell out of favor in Soviet Russia, but with the Soviet Union dissolved, many people are again observing the Eastern Orthodox Great Lent, which calls for vegetarian everything. Also, here in North America we have a significant population of vegetarians who will appreciate this stock. For its unique characteristics, please see Comments.




3/4
1
-------
12
4-1/2
4-1/2
4-1/2
12
-------
3
9
-------
12
5
2
10
-------
oz
c
---
oz
oz
oz
oz
oz
---
T
c
---




---
Mushrooms dry (1)  
Water
-- Vegetables
Onions
Carrots
Celery & Leaves
Leek
Parsnips
-----------
OIl (2)
Water
-- Seasonings
Parsley sprigs
Dill sprigs
Bay leaves
Peppercorns
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Make   -   (2-1/4 hr - 45 min work)
  1. Soak the MUSHROOMS in warm water for 1/2 hour or more (if Shiitake) or at least 4 hours (if Porcini). Cut into small pieces, and return to the soaking liquid until needed.
  2. Chop all Vegetables items medium. Mix all.
  3. In a suitable heavy bottomed pot, heat Oil (or Butter) and fry Vegetable mix over moderate heat until well softened and threatening to take color.
  4. Stir in all Seasoning items, Water and Mushrooms (with their soaking liquid). Bring to a boil and simmer 1 hour.
  5. Strain through a fine mesh strainer, pressing with the back of a wooden spoon to force out as much water as possible. Discard all solids. You can then clear the surface crud using your gravy separator.
  6. If you will not be using it for awhile, see our recipe Soup Stock / Broth for a good storage method.
NOTES:
  1. Mushrooms:   Russia is a land of mushrooms, and dried Bolitus (Porcini) are common in the pantry, but they are very expensive here and usually not on hand. Chinese black mushrooms (actually dried shiitakes) can be substituted with some difference in flavor. 6 medium Shiitakes is about 3/4 ounce. For details see our Fungus page.
  2. Oil:   The pattern recipe calls for 4-1/2 Tablespoons of Butter, but I have specified Oil in keeping with increasing observance of the Eastern Orthodox Lent. For Lent, it will have to be Sunflower Seed Oil, the only cooking oil not on the prohibited list, but, being a Pagan, I use Pure Olive Oil (not virgin). Use your own preference here.
  3. Comments:   The photo example was made with dried Shiitakes. Made with Porcinis it would be much darker. This stock is both quite strong and a bit sweet. Water may need to be added, and in a soup recipe with ingredients that absorb water, such as grains or pasta, water will definitely need to be added to compensate. This stock is also noticeably sweet, but if that's a problem a little lemon juice will fix it. Note that no Salt is included, as that is properly added to the recipe the stock is used for.
  4. U.S. measure: t=teaspoon, T=Tablespoon, c=cup, qt=quart, oz=ounce, #=pound, cl=clove, in=inch, ar=as required tt=to taste
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