For the Christmas fasting period in the Orthodox church and in Romania’s traditional households, vegetarian dishes are the norm, with no meat and no dairy products added
The first recipe we bring you today is the one for monastic sour soup. For that, we need several potatoes, one small cabbage, two onions, two carrots, one celery, a bunch of fresh parsley, tomato juice or tomato paste and a bit of oil. Peel the vegetables, wash them, them cut them into small pieces. Boil them with a bit of salt. If we use sauerkraut, we need to wash it in cold water before we cut it into smaller pieces. After the vegetables have boiled, add a bit of tomato juice or tomato paste. As a souring agent Romanians use a fermented wheat bran brew, which you add after boiling separately. In the end, add the finely chopped fresh parsley in the pot.
If we want to make a sauerkraut soup, you don’t need a souring agent, thanks to the sauerkraut. Take a head of pickled cabbage about 2 kilos in weight, two onions, 2…3 carrots, and tomato juice or paste. It takes longer to prepare the sauerkraut soup because you need to add the cabbage cores as well. Wash the sauerkraut in cold water, then cut it into small pieces. Allow it to boil on low heat for 2-3 hours. Cut the onions julienne and thinly slice the carrots, adding them to the pot. Also, add one or two parsnip, finely chopped, add tomato juice, or one or two tablespoons of tomato paste. After that, allow the pot to boil on low heat for yet another half an hour before serving.
Monk’s pilaf is another dish for the Christmas fasting period. We need two cups of rice, two, three onions, one carrot, one or two tomatoes or canned tomatoes cut into small pieces, several mushrooms, a bunch of fresh parsley and oil. Heat up a bit of oil sauté the onion, cut julienne. Add the finely sliced mushrooms and the sliced carrot, and add a bit of water if need be. Also, add the rice you previously washed and the tomato pieces. Boil for about half an hour. Towards the end, garnish with the finely chopped parsley leaves. Add salt to taste. Enjoy!