Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Shchav - Russian Chard Soup

The process of inspiration when it comes to recipes for the blog is often a strange and meandering thing.  Some soup recipes are old favourites, some are things that I see in shops or read about somewhere and have a crack at coming up with my own variation of, and sometimes, I will just pick an ingredient out of the aether and wonder if it can be turned into soup.

That is most definitely the case with today's recipe.  I remember the first time I had chard, after signing up for a vegetable box to be delivered and receiving a rather manky looking cabbage, some flea-bitten carrots (do fleas bite carrots?) and some big dark green and red things that could, in a bad light, be mistaken for rhubarb, but rhubarb it most assuredly was not.

I think that i just steamed it and had it with chicken breasts or something, not feeling particularly inspired at the time, but it was thinking about this incident that made me wonder if there was such a thing as chard soup.  After a quick Google, I found a few references to Shchav (or Schav, depending on how you want to spell it) which it seems can be made with chard, but is more traditionally made with sorrel but can be made with chard instead.  My local supermarket is particularly well stocked with regards to fresh produce, but I couldn't find sorrel anywhere, so I went back to plan a) which was to make the soup with chard.

So apologies to any Eastern Europeans who find this version of Shchav slightly inaccurate, just consider this the Yorkshire version of a classic soup (also sometimes known as green borscht, and sometimes eaten cold as well. This soup is also served with boiled eggs, and has a wonderful creamy taste)

300g Swiss Chard
200g Red Chard
1 Red Onion
1 Large Potato
2 Cloves Garlic
30g Butter
25g Plain Flour
1.2l Chicken Stock
Fresh Dill
1 Lemon
200g Smoked Sausage
4 Eggs
150ml Sour Cream


1. Prepare the chard. First give it a good wash, then remove the stalks.  Slice the stalks and chop the leaves.  Peel and cube the potato and roughly chop the red onion.

2. In your soup pan, heat butter, then add the chopped chard stalks, onion and garlic. Lower the heat, cover and cook for 4-5 Minuntes

3.  Add chopped leaves and cook for another 4-5 minutes, then stir in the flour. a bit at a time.

4. Add the stock and stir well, then put the potatoes in, bring to a simmer and cook for 15-20 minutes, until the potatoes are fully cooked through

 5. Add the chopped dill and juice of a lemon, then cook for another 5 minutes

6.  Take the pan off the heat and let the soup cool, then blend it smooth (pass through a sieve to get any lumps out) then return to the heat, checking the seasoning and adding the sour cream.

7.  When the soup is cooling, hard boil the eggs.  Shell them for use as a garnish.  At the same time, fry the smoked sausage, cubed or thinly sliced until it starts to colour.
8.  Serve the soup in warmed bowls, with slices of hard boiled egg and smoked sausage for garnish, as well as a sprinkling of chopped dill. Enjoy!


  1. Hi there,

    we've recently launched the site RecipesUS.com where users can search through hundreds of thousands of recipes from American food sites and food blogs.

    We noticed that you have a great number of tasty recipes in your blog (http://soup-tuesday.blogspot.com/) and we would like to suggest you have a look at our Top Food Blogs section here: http://www.recipesus.com/top-food-blogs

    If you want to add your food blog to the list and have your recipes indexed on RecipesUS.com all you have to do is follow the instructions here: http://www.recipesus.com/add-your-food-blog

    Our concept is already live in Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Spain, we deliver thousands of visitors to food blogs daily. Some of the top food blogs receive 20,000+ visitors from us on a weekly basis.

    Hopefully your food blog will be up there in the top!

    Warm regards,
    RecipesUS.com, Hittarecept.se, Findeopskrifter.dk, Alleoppskrifter.no, Todareceta.es

  2. Soup looks hearty and delicious !!

    1. It is rather delicious, I'd never thought of using chard in a soup before, and the sausage and egg really set it off. I'd recommend it to everybody!