Russian summer soup or Green shchi.

Russian Cuisine is something not so expansively promoted as Italian Cuisine. However, overall Russian food is healthier if we delve into the subject. Sugar, coffee, cakes were not common in the mostly argricultural country. Such vegetables as beetroot, cabbage, turnip were cooked in stoves (pech') I think if nowadays chefs were not so narrow-mindedly concentrated on making pizzas,  frog's legs or foie Gras  they would learn a lot from what was Russian Cuisine in the past.

One of simple but nice dishes is stinging nettle soup.  Regardless the fact that it sounds as off-putting as "frog's legs", it is a nice and light dish for those who are on a diet, simply count calories or want a break from lettuce salad.

The soup is usually made in the beginning of summer when leaves are fresh and tender. Supposedly, the Russians after severe winters and long cold springs lacked vitamins, so they used first green plants in their dishes in order to fortify themselves.

Don't spare leaves: they will boil away considerably. Wash them and get rid of stems. Add carrots, potatoes, onions or any other vegetables you like. I added some marrow last time and the soup was alright. The stinging nettle leaves have its own fresh flavour, so you shouldn't add spices or herbs. Add some salt and cream when it's cooked. Russians also add some eggs at the end.

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