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


mark said...

I love spring / summer soups that rely on super fresh vegetables to carry the taste. No stock or meat and the addition of the herb at the end reinforces the freshness. I would not have thought of using milk - this is novel for me. Will give it a try.

Kaili said...

Indeed milk is a relatively unusual component. Milk is what makes it either a love or hate relationship in this particular soup. In Estonia milk soups used to be quite popular, made with dumplings or some grain ingredients. Nowadays soups in general seem to be taking a place somewhere further down the food ladder despite being healthy food. Let me know how you found the soup. :-)

bigsislittledish said...

I found your blog because I was searching on line about a vegetable and milk broth soup that my Vanaema. She used vegetables from her garden and milk from her goats. This is the same soup! It makes me happy to know that other families make this soup as well. My grandmother always included dumplings. I will make it as soon as fresh garden vegetables reappear. I love all of you posts about foraging as well. I am going to Estonia for the first time this coming June (I live in New York). and it is inspiring to see all of those mushrooms!

Kaili Juppets said...

bigsislittledish - Thanks for sharing this! I am happy to hear that this soup is loved in New York! I have never made or tasted this soup with goat milk, only with cow milk. Sometimes the milk soup is made with dumplings, without the vegetables. Have a great trip to Estonia! I hope you find some mushrooms too. :-)