Buckwheat is the most popular grain in Slavic cuisine. When a crisis hits any Slavic country, buckwheat is usually the first thing that disappears from grocery store shelves. That’s how much people rely on it in their diet. I was never crazy about buckwheat when I was a kid. But when mom made me this soup, everything changed. It has the most alluring deep flavor of buckwheat and mushrooms with the right balance of sweetness and earthiness. It’s just like being wrapped in a cozy blanket and taking an autumn walk in a forest. I love eating this soup piping hot with the darkest rye bread I can find.
1/2 ounce dried wild mushrooms (about 1/3 cup)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon sunflower oil
1 medium yellow onion, finely diced
1 small carrot, peeled and shredded
2 1/2 quarts vegetable broth
4 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
6 ounces mixed fresh mushrooms (such as cremini, shiitake, and chanterelle), thinly sliced
1/4 cup toasted buckwheat, rinsed and drained
1 bay leaf
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, for serving
Sour cream, for serving
Put the dried mushrooms into a small heatproof bowl and pour in boiling water to cover . Let the mushrooms rehydrate for at least 20 minutes . Drain the mushrooms through a fine-mesh sieve placed over a small bowl . Roughly slice the mushrooms . Set the mushrooms and reserved liquid aside separately .
In a large frying pan, melt the butter with the oil over medium-high heat . Add the onion and cook, stirring often, until translucent, about 7 minutes . Add the carrot and continue cooking, stirring often, until the vegetables are soft, 7 to 10 minutes longer . Remove the pan from the heat .
In a medium pot, combine the broth, mushroom water, potatoes, and rehydrated mushrooms and bring to a boil over high heat . Lower the heat to medium and cook for about 10 minutes. Add the onion-carrot mixture and the fresh mushrooms, raise the heat to medium-high, and bring to a boil . Add the buckwheat and bay leaf and season with salt and pepper . Lower the heat to medium and simmer until the buckwheat is tender, about 15 minutes . Remove from the heat and remove and discard the bay leaf .
Ladle the soup into deep bowls . Top each serving with parsley and a dollop of sour cream and serve right away
“Reprinted with permission from BUDMO!: Recipes from a Ukrainian Kitchen. Copyright © 2022 by Anna Voloshyna. Photography Copyright © 2022 by Anna Voloshyna. Published by Rizzoli International Publications, Inc.
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