Russian shchi, pronounced "she" is a delightful Eastern European soup with plenty of vegetables and tang. Legend has it that the way to check for a properly made shchi is to see if a wooden spoon will stand upright in the pot. I checked, it did. It was packed full, it was tangy, and it was delicious. Traditionally the soup is meatless but I happened to have had roast chicken for dinner the night before and used the leftover frame for flavor.

8 c. Chicken Broth
4 chicken bouillon cubes
2 Tbsp. butter
1 onion, chopped
2.5 lb. potatoes, sliced
1 tsp. caraway seeds
4 c. cabbage, sliced
1 lb. sauerkraut, drained
1 large carrot, minced
8 oz. mushrooms, minced
1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
2 Bay leaves
1/2 tsp. black pepper

leftover chicken from the frame (optional)

Fresh dill
Sour cream

Cover the chicken frame with 12 cups of water and bouillon cubes in a large stock pot and bring to a boil. Gently simmer for 2 hours. Strain and reserve the liquid. Remove any chicken bits and discard the bones. Set aside.

If not starting with a leftover chicken frame skip the above step and replace the liquid with 8 cups of water and 8 chicken or vegetable bouillon cubes.

In the large stock pan heat the butter. Add the mushrooms and onion and cook for 7-8 minutes. Add the cabbage and sauerkraut and cook, sauteing, for 5 minutes. Add the potatoes, caraway, bay leaves, black pepper, and the reserved chicken broth. 

Simmer for 25 minutes over medium heat, or until the cabbage and potatoes are tender. 

Add the vinegar and the chicken and simmer for an additional 5 minutes. Check for salt and adjust as needed.

Serve with sour cream and fresh dill.


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