Archives for posts with tag: soup

 Веселого Різдва! For those of you that are wondering what that means, it’s Merry Christmas in Ukrainian. According to the Ukrainian Catholic calendar Christmas falls on January 7th and today Ukrainians all around the world are celebrating. So, in honour of this and my Ukrainian heritage I’m going to share the coveted borscht recipe from my Baba & Papa. This is a very old family recipe that as far I know has never been published before. I always thought that making a massive pot of borscht was such a daunting tasks growing up as I watched my Baba and Papa make it countless times. The flavours are so fresh and delicious I never realized how easy it actually is to make until I asked. This recipe can me made with or with our meat (mine is usually meat-less) You can also use sour cream or whipping cream. Borscht is also a very healthy soup because it is full of vegetables. To me borscht is soul food and I always request that my Papa makes it every year for my birthday. When I first asked my Baba for her borscht recipe she laughed at me and said there is no recipe you just make it. Confused I then called my Papa and asked what his recipe for borscht was. He gave me a little better idea of how to make it but I realized what my Baba meant by ‘there is so recipe’. Making borscht involves a lot of  you own personal taste. It’s up to you how much vinegar you use. What size your pot is.  How many vegetables or even what vegetables you want to add? Sour cream or whipping cream? With or without meat?  Noodles or no noodles? This is the recipe that I gathered and made from my families recipe but you can make  it  your own. So here it is, the best borscht recipe you will ever taste.

Chudyk Family Borscht Recipe


2 cans of tomato soup

1  tetra pack of beef broth

3 large beets

1 large bunch of fresh dill

1 medium white onion

4 stick of celery

3 large carrots

2 large Yukon gold potatoes unpeeled

1 medium parsnip

1-2 cups vinegar

1 package of mixed vegetables (peas, corn, green beans)

1 small tub of sour cream or whipping cream

1 package egg noodles


Directions: In one large soup pot (the biggest one you can get your hands on)

Pour 1 cup water and pack of  beef broth.

Peel and shred beets and add to pot.

Add finely chopped onion, celery. Add small cubed potato and parsnip. Add bite sized carrots slices.

Pour in water as you add vegetables to pot as needed keeping in mind not to dilute broth too much. Just enough to boil vegetables in.

Add 1 cup of frozen mixed vegetables.

Let vegetables cook as needed.

In a separate smaller bowl take one or two ladles of soup until bowl and mix in two spoonfuls of sour cream at a time and then slowly add the mixture back in large pot. Repeat steps until all sour cream has been whisked into soup.

Add half a cup of white vinegar to soup mixture and stir, let simmer.

Taste soup and add more water, vinegar salt and pepper to taste.                                                

In a separate bot boil water and add package of egg noodles.

Keep egg noodles in separate bowl. Then add a handful of noodles to bowl and dish borscht into bowl and enjoy!

This is the recipe that keeps on giving and everyday you store that borscht in your fridge that better it gets.  A fresh loaf of bread or biscuits are a nice accompaniment to this meal of a soup bowl. I made my cheddar rosemary scones which taste great freshly out of the oven dipped into the beet broth. You can find the recipe for the biscuits here. There’s a saying in Ukrainian culture that the louder you slurp your soup the more of a compliment it is to the chef. So slurp away and don’t forget not to wear a white shirt!

For those looking for more of a taste of Ukrainian food check out Prarie Cottage Perogies in Langley for a truly authentic Ukrainian/Manitoban experience. Also, check out the Ukrainian Society of Ivan Franko located in Richmond, BC where they sell homemade Ukrainan food such as perogies, cabbage rolls etc out of their hall from 10am-2pm every Saturday. This year you can also celebrate Malanka (Ukrainian New Years) with them at an all out gala on Saturday January 14th. Check out their website for more details.


Last week my main squeeze took me out to a little Vietnamese restaurant in Richmond for pho. I haven’t always been the biggest fan of pho or Vietnamese food for that matter but after recently watching Anthony Bourdain’s food porn tribute to pho I couldn’t help but crave it. Check out this video and you will understand why. However my pho experience last week wasn’t quite as x-rated as Anthony’s. After reading a few good reviews about a little hole in the wall place in Richmond called Pho Lan on No.3 Road we decided to check it out. You enter through the back  parking lot down a sketchy looking labryinth of a hallway where you finally find yourself in a tiny little restaurant. The loud Vietnamese ladies running the place barely speak english and the decor is well..there is no decor. We both ordered the medium rare pho bowls as well as a few spring rolls and a couple prawn wraps. Long story short the food was pretty good, the atmosphere and service not so much but it got us both thinking. How do you judge a good bowl of pho? Since it simply comes to your table as broth, noodles and meat and it’s pretty much up to you how you dress it. How much chili paste to add? Do you squeeze in the whole lime? How much basil leaves do you throw in? Do you add soya sauce etc. Does the restaurant matter or is it how you prepare your own pho once it comes to your table? Any pho experts out there have any advice for us?  How do you judge a good pho and where is the best place to get it?

The classy entrance to Pho Lan

I have been hearing for months from friends that Trader Joe’s grocery store in the states is amazing. Anyone I know who goes over for cross-border shopping has been telling me that it’s like a Whole Foods Market except a lot less expensice. I finally had a chance to go this weekend to the Bellingham location on a shopping trip with a friend of mine. The parking lot was a nightmare (probably because of the upcoming American Thanksgiving) and the store was ridiculously busy but I managed to fanagle my way down the aisles and bought some ‘border friendly crossing” food. I couldn’t belive how good the prices were. Another great thing about the Trader Joe’s label is that they promise NO trans-fats, No MSG, No genetically modified ingredients and NO artificial flavors, colors or preservatives. I wanted to buy wanted to bring home the whole store. The stores itself was on the smaller side but still managed to have everything one would need. The employees are all very friendly and were  decked out in funky Hawaiian shirts & handing out yummy samples.  Here’s a few of the items I picked up at Trader Joe’s this weekend.

Candy Cane Joe-Joe’s – I assume that these cookie are only for the holiday season so get them while you can. These are basically oreos with REAL pieces of candy cane in the icing.  Why hasn’t oreo thought of this sooner? A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! Great little treat with a cup of tea on a cold winter night. Even better, the box is huge and comes with three rows of cookies.

Pink Himalayan Sea Salt  – Himalayan salt has many benefits. It is full of minerals such as potassium, iron and magnesium. It can stimulate circulation and helps remove toxins. Not to mention it’s much for flavourful than regular table salt. The Trader Joe’s version comes with a built-in grinder and is only $1.99 a bottle.

Organic Peanut Butter –  I’m a huge fan of peanut butter, I like mine soft, salted and creamy. If it’s organic even better. This peanut butter covers all those bases and comes at the right price as well. I’ll be picking this up again next time I’m at Trader Joe’s.

Organic Sugar – This sugar from the Trader Joe’s label is organic and reasonably priced. It comes from evaporated cane sugar and is very flavourful. With zero of polyunsaturated, trans, monosaturated fats per 2 tablespoons that is pretty darn good in my books.

Split Pea Soup – Mmmmmm thick and creamy  split pea soup, what could be better on a gloomy cold day? This soup is not only tasty but it’s inexpensive as well, only $1.99 a can. It’s seasoned with sea salt, cracked pepper, basil. Perfect for celiacs as well or those with lactose intolerance as  it is gluten-free.

I will definitely be stopping at Trader Joe’s next time I do a south of the border shopping trip and I can’t wait to see what I’ll discover on my next venture into  Joe’s world. For those American readers lucky enough to live near a Trader Joe’s I would love to know some of your favourite products found at Trader Joe’s?

Soup is my absolute favourite thing to make, and eat. My Baba is pretty much the most amazing soup cook ever, really. Although this soup recipe doesn’t come from her (I’ll save a Baba soup recipe for another day). It does just what her soups can do; warm your heart and your taste buds. I recently made a deliciously healthy autumn soup that combines the freshest autumn produce  to make a beautiful golden soup. Here’s my recipe for Autumn Harvest Soup.


3 medium parsnips, peeled and cubed

4 medium carrots, sliced

2 medium onions, chopped

2 large cloves garlic, chopped

1 large sweet potato, peeled and chopped

2 celery stalks, sliced

2 bay leaves

3 1/4 cups chicken broth

2 1/2 cups half-and-half

1 teaspoon dried tarragon

1 teaspoon granulated salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper


Step 1: In soup pot, combine parsnips, carrots, onions, sweet potato, turnip, celery, bay leaves and broth. Bring to boil, then reduce heat and simmer, covered, 30 minutes or until tender. Remove from heat, remove bay leaves and let cool 20 minutes

Step 2: Transfer in small batches to a blender or food processor, cover and puree until smooth. Return to pot, add half-and-half, tarragon, salt and pepper,and heat throughly

Tip: Don’t puree vegetables to the point of baby food. It’s ok for there to be bits here and there for textures sake.