Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Vegetable Soup of Love or Hate, the Estonian “piima-aedvilja supp”

There are some foods or ingredients that one can either love, adore even, or hate, such as marmite, liquorice, coriander/cilantro,…, you know the kinds. The end of June, but mostly July is the time when families in Estonia either unite in praise or split at one summer soup. This is the time when the young vegetables strive in their adolescence. The fresh adult vegetables in August or September make a good soup too, but the very best is the “sweet sixteen” in the middle of the northern summer. This July I had the opportunity to once again sing the ode to this very special soup with my family. Fortunately all of us belong to the adorer group. I have friends who hate it. If you belong to the lucky ones with a functional hobby garden and can add the picking of the vegetables yourself to the cooking process, congratulations! In our family this soup is usually cooked in a relatively big pot and all of it gets eaten in one meal by the people around the table. This usually means more than one already generous helping...

A bunch of young carrots

A bowl of new peas

A good palm full of new potatoes
A medium new cabbage or cauliflower or broccoli
Water to cook the vegetables in
0.5 -1 l of milk
Chopped dill and/or spring onion

Cut the carrots and potatoes into small bite size cubes and cook in the boiling salted water for 5-10 minutes, add the chopped bite size cabbage, cauliflower or broccoli and peas and cook until everything is soft but still with a bit of bite left. Assess the quantity of the liquid you wish to have in the soup. The final liquid should be roughly half water, half milk. If there is already too much water in the pot, take some out before adding the milk. Bring the soup to boil. Taste for salt. Finally add the chopped dill and/or onion greens. Serve immediately.
Estonian vegetable soup / piima-köögiviljasupp