shchi the famous cabbage soup of Russia. Pokhlebkin (1984) claims that it has been the basic hot soup of Russia since 1,000 years ago, and that over these many centuries ‘an ever-present smell of shchi prevailed in every Russian peasant hut’. He points out that there are many different versions, but gives the following clear guidance on ingredients for the most traditional one.
In its most complete form shchi contains six ingredients: cabbage, meat (or in rare instances fish or dried or salted mushrooms), root vegetables (carrots, parsnips), spicy seasoning (onion, celery, garlic, dill, pepper, bay leaf) and tart or sour flavouring (sour cream, apples, sauerkraut brine). The first and last are the indispensable ingredients.