Tuesday, March 30, 2010

“Nightmare” dish - Łazanki

You will find below a quick list of my few favorite “nightmare” dishes, which I could not stand when I was a kid:

- Scrambled eggs with veal’s brains (which I still hate)
- Milk soup (I still hate it now)
- Cooked spinach (I like now)
- And łazanki (which I now like).

Do you have any food nightmares from your childhood you want to share?

Łazanki. The “prototype” of this old pasta dish with square noodles was probably brought to Poland in the 16th century by Bona Sforza, the Italian wife of King Zygmunt Stary (the dish is known under the same name in Belarus as well).
As a child, I did not have any idea about the Italian origins of łazanki, but this was not the reason why I did not like it.
To me, the dish was synonymous of something overcooked, sticky, gluey, greasy, too salty or on the contrary not salty enough. I was a cantina kid and łazanki were usually served once a week in my school, prepared in the manner that I describe above. “Łazanki” were usually served with overcooked (or not cooked enough) sweet or sour white cabbage, pork back grease and pieces of sausage or ham. Sometimes some sour cream was added.
This is how I remember the dish. The only worse food was veal’s brain served with scrambled eggs, which I still hate nowadays.

Now I can eat łazanki, but it took me years. And, sorry guys! I only like the dish when I prepare it on my own – traumatic memories still work. I would rather cook the version without any bacon, although it is not so traditional.

There are my keys to my favorite and only łazanki dish I eat:

First of all, I use Savoy cabbage, instead of white cabbage. This preparation is quite well known, but is not so common. I do not like cooked white cabbage, although I like it raw or soured. On the other hand, I love cooked Savoy cabbage, which is more delicate and tender. I never use pork grease; instead, I use olive oil, butter or even goose grease.

Secondly, I make my own square noodles. They taste so much better in comparison to łazanki noodles you can buy in stores. Instead of all purpose flour, like in my recipe, you can try to use buckwheat flour, organic rye flour, but then you will have to be careful, as usually organic flour takes more liquid. This is why I give you the recipe for those simple square noodles.

Thirdly, I like to add bryndza and/or “oscypek-like” cheese to the dish, if I have them handy of course. If not, I add some fresh tomme, or gruyere, or nothing. Traditional łazanki usually is not served with any cheese.

Fourthly, I add a lot of fresh forest mushrooms. Surely you can use frozen ones, as you would do it now because the mushroom season is over.

Fifthly, I grill the whole dish in the oven before serving. Et voila!

You might remember that I wrote about oscypek a few weeks ago. Today I mention bryndza which is another cheese that may be used in the recipe. You probably do not know this cheese, and I owe you a few words of explanation.
Bryndza podhalańska is a Polish variety of the soft bryndza cheese, which is known in other countries of the region (for example, Slovakia). The name of the cheese probably finds its origins in the Romanian term “brinze”. The first written recipes for bryndza come from the XVIth century (confirmed in documents issued by landowners and in Royal decrees. Bryndza is made from sheep’s milk and it has a strong, salty or slightly salty taste, sometimes even sour. The cow’s milk content, if any is used, should not exceed 40 % of the total amount of milk used in production. Now it has a geographical indication under European Union law. Bryndza is produced only from May to September. You can buy industrial “substitutes” in markets or, from local farmers, all year round (usually both add more cow milk).
Bryndza usually is eaten as a topping on tartines, with addition of fresh, sliced tomatoes, sour cucumber and fresh herbs. It also is a wonderful filling for some types of pierogi, noodles, Polish-style gnocchis, button mushrooms and a variation of potato pancakes.

One last good thing about łazanki: it tastes even better the next day, after a night in the fridge.


Serves 4

400 g square noodles (recipe below)
500 g Savoy cabbage, washed and finely chopped
350 g fresh ceps or bolets
100 g bryndza and / or oscypek cheese (optional, you can use your favorite cheese or just omit it)
200 ml vegetable broth
2 onions, peeled, washed and finely chopped
4 tablespoons goose grease
2-3 tablespoons butter
2 bay leaves
2-3 grains allspice

Delicately clean the ceps from the leftovers of the forest.
Scratch the stems to remove soil.
Rinse the mushrooms delicately under cold water.
Dry them with a paper towel and cut them into parts of equal sizes. If the mushrooms are small you do not have to slice them.
In a hot saucepan, melt butter and cook onions until gold, for around 10 minutes, over a small flame. Do not let onions burn.
Add mushrooms and fry over a medium flame, mixing often, until the mushroom juice evaporates completely.
Simultaneously, in a second saucepan, melt the goose grease and cook the cabbage with bay leaves and allspice over a medium flame, until slightly soft.
Then add mushrooms and onions, pour the broth and cook slowly until the broth evaporates. Add cooked noodles. Salt and pepper generously and mix.
Place the dish in a backing pan, sprinkle with cheese and place into the oven preheat to 180 degrees.
Bake for 15 minutes, until the cheese is melted and slightly grilled.
Remove from the oven and serve hot.

Home made square noodles - łazanki

Serves 4

250 g flour
2 eggs
A pinch of salt
Eventually 2 tablespoons, water

Sift flour on your working table.
Form a well in the centre.
Place eggs and salt in the well.
You can add 2 tablespoons of water at room temperature.
Mix all the ingredients with a plastic scraper and then knead the dough energetically.
After 10 minutes your dough should be elastic and ideally smooth.
Divide the dough into two equal parts.
Place one part on your working table.
Wrap the second half in a plastic film and put aside.
Sprinkle some flour on your station and start rolling out the dough until it is between 1 and 2 millimeters thick.
Occasionally, flip the dough and sprinkle some flour over it so it does not stick to the table.
When the dough is rolled out, let it dry out a bit for about 10 minutes.
After that time sprinkle a bit of flour over the dough and cut oblong strips of dough (about 1.5 cm wide). Then cut the strips across cut across to obtain squares of dough. Mix the noodles so they will not get sticky; they may even get a bit dry.
Repeat the actions with the second half of dough.
In a large saucepan, bring water to a boil and add some salt and a bit of oil.
Place the noodles into the boiling water by small batches at a time and cook between 6-8 minutes, depending on their thickness.
Strain the noodles. Rinse them under running cold water and use according to your recipe. You may also keep the noodles in the refrigerator for a few days before using them with your favorite recipe.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Easter Tartar Sauce

Easter approaches. I am attached to tradition and I have a strong will to prepare traditional recipes for Easter. I miss rustic tastes. In my French family,  Easter is not as extensively celebrated as it is in the Polish part of the family. French are not sentimental about eggs, for example. They do not prepare homemade pisanki (Easter eggs).
Tartar Sauce is one of my favorite Easter egg accompaniments.
In fact, I prepare it several times a year. It is always served for Easter (as an accompaniment to eggs and homemade patés) and for Christmas (as one accompaniment to hams and patés). However, it tastes deliciously with breaded buttoned mushrooms, potato crockets and warm meats (which I will present some other time).
I made a quick research before publishing this post. I wanted to investigate about the name of the sauce, to no avail. Besides the connotation of the Tartar tribe and the ancient definition of mythological hell, I did not find anything.
Does anybody have any idea about the origins of the sauce? Why it is called “tartar”?
This classical and old-fashioned sauce is known in several countries. It is well known in France, as well, and you can buy it in nearly every store and order it in many restaurants serving traditional food.
The French version, which differs from Polish recipes, does not find my personal approval; it usually is too thick, thanks to mayonnaise, and awfully sour, thanks to French extremely acid vinegar cornichons.
Traditional Polish recipes use as well a lot of mayonnaise. I like mayonnaise, especially when it is homemade and made by my husband. I prefer, however, to “break” its texture and its taste by adding cream, mustard and sometimes horseradish.
My version of the Tartar Sauce is based on homemade pickled ceps (which you can find in stores carrying Polish food, as well) and sour cucumbers (instead of cornichons) – two famous Polish specialties.
I find this version tastier. I think that the flavors are well balanced. The sauce is more delicate, but still quite acid, like it should be. I have tried recipes with capers, but I always come back to my version, which uses a lot of chives and dill as well.

Makes around 250 ml of sauce

1 hardboiled egg
4 tablespoons marinated ceps, finely chopped - around 50 g
5 tablespoons sour cucumbers, peeled and finely chopped (optional: cornichons) – around 100 g
2 tablespoons finely chopped chives
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh dill
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
3 tablespoons organic cream (or Greek-style yoghurt)
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon ice cold water
Salt and pepper
1 teaspoon lime juice
A pinch of powdered sugar

Separate the egg white and the egg yolk.
Finely chop the egg white.
Mash the egg yolk with a fork and put aside.
In a bowl, mix egg white, cucumber and cep.
In a separate bowl, mix the egg yolk with mayonnaise, cream and mustard.
Add a pinch of powdered sugar and a spoon of water.
Beat until you the sauce becomes creamy.
Add chives, dill, salt and pepper according to you taste.
If the sauce is not sour enough, add a bit of freshly squeezed lime juice.
Refrigerate before serving.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Sour rolled oats soup with whye and shiitake - Żur owsiany

Last week I experimented again with sour starters, homemade curd and sour cabbage. Working on all these in a 5 square meter kitchen requires some sort of courage. Every preparation takes time and place: another challenge is to find enough storage for all this food in such a tiny surface.
I found that the best place for a good fermentation of the sour starters is on top our laundry dryer. As to the jar of sour cabbage, it has found its place on the floor, under a small table, where it is protected from the day light. Two other bowls with sour milk were placed on the top of the washing machine, which is close to the window but not exposed to the sun. Thanks to two shelves that we installed last week, I managed to rearrange my cupboards finding products which I had forgotten about over time.
Since I have those two new shelves, I again have the feeling that our kitchen is endlessly big. This will not last for a long time!

Preparing rustic food and finding authentic tastes in the middle of a huge metropolis is actually fun. Being surrounded by trendy and sophisticated Parisian restaurants, great grocery stores, where one can find everything I have a bit of a countryside spirit in the kitchen.
Thanks to my friends: Rafal from Polish culinary forum Galeria Potraw, and Karolina, who started her culinary blog not so long ago, I decided to prepare my first sour rolled oats starter for another version of “żurek”, presented a few days agoMore details about rolled oats on Wikipedia.

The starter indeed is worthy recommending. Its taste is delicate in comparison to the rye starter, and it keeps its sourness. The starter was ready in 4 days, as the temperature in the kitchen was not very high (we do not have any heater in our kitchen). I was mixing it delicately every day and checking its smell. Everything went fine and so on the third day I added 2 chopped garlic cloves, and on the next day I could enjoy its nice smell. 
The good thing about the starter is that you can buy organic rolled oat in any good organic food store, either in Krakow, Paris or New York, and still enjoy your żurek without worrying about finding any rye flour for it.
Straight away I thought it could be nice to use a light vegetable broth. As I did not have any vegetable at home, and because I could not go out since our child was sick, I decided to use whey instead.

Rolled oats starter

(Makes between 800 ml - 1 liter)

8 tablespoons organic rolled oats, coarse-mashed in a mortar
1 liter warm (about 30°) mineral water, previously boiled
2 bay leaves
2 grains all spice
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 jar (1 liter capacity), preferably sterilized
1 piece of fabric to cover the jar and 1 rubber band to hold it

Place flour into a jar and pour the mineral water over it.
Add allspice and bay leaves.
Slowly, mix with a wooden spatula.
Cover the jar with the fabric, attach it with the rubber band and place the jar in a warm place.
Keep between 3-5 days, until the starter is ready.
The ideal temperature is between 18 and 22 degrees centigrade.
Mix delicately the liquid twice a day with a clean wooden spatula and then cover again.
If necessary, remove the foam that is forming on the surface of the liquid.
On the third day, add garlic and mix well.
Before pouring the liquid into the soup (see below) strain it and throw away the remaining oats.
For more general information concerning the preparation of sour starter, look here.

Last week I also continued experiments with homemade curd for my daughter. That’s why I had around 1 liter of spare fresh acid whey, which was a leftover after cheese curding.

In Poland, I only saw fresh, non pasteurized acid whey very rarely in some good stores carrying organic food. So far, I have not seen it in France and probably the only way you can get it is curding the cheese from sour milk yourself.
I decided to use it for the soup instead of broth. In the past, I already had replaced broth with acid whey in other types of soups and it worked well. 
I do not know much detail about acid whey plasma except for the fact that our grandmothers’ opinion was that homemade whey is supposed to be very healthy, thanks to its minerals and its vitamins. I was a bit afraid whether the French stomach of my husband, who is not used to fermented milk products, would react fine to the double acidity of the soup. All in all, he liked it a lot, especially because I had added a lot of fresh thyme, which he adores. No syndromes of bad digestion were found.

I have not found any recipe for żurek using whey instead of broth. Indeed, it was my own idea to do so; however I am quite sure that it had to be used in older preparations, in those times when nothing ever could be wasted. In any case feel free to use your favorite broth. I am sure your soup will come out excellent.
Since I did not have any marjoram, which is a traditional herb used for the seasoning of żurek, I decided to go for little branches of fresh thyme, which my husband bought on the marché that day.
The soup was thicker than usual.
This mixture worked well with shiitake mushrooms, which I found in my fridge. Unfortunately shiitake mushrooms do not have so much taste and when I try this version of the soup next time, I will definitely use a few sautéed fresh ceps.

Sour rolled oat soup (żur owsiany)

Serves 4

800 ml sour rolled oat starter (finely strained from oat leftovers)
800 ml sour whey, preferably homemade (optional, you can use any broth according to your liking)
4 fresh shiitake mushrooms (around 150 g), washed, dried and cut into ½ cm strips
3 medium size potatoes, peeled, washed and cut along into thin slices of 2 or 3 mm
2 garlic cloves, peeled, washed and finely chopped
5 to 6 branches fresh thyme
1 or 2 pinches powdered chili
1 tablespoon butter

In a pan, bring the acid whey to a boil.
Add potatoes and thyme and cook on a medium flame, under cover for around 10 minutes, until potatoes are nearly soft.
In the meantime, in a hot frying pan, melt butter, add garlic and shiitake.
Fry over a medium flame between 5 to10 minutes. If necessary, add some whey if they start to stick to the bottom of the pan.
Add shitakes with garlic and their juice into the bullion.
Add sour rolled oats starter, bring to a boil and cook between 5 to 10 minutes, until potatoes are soft.
Remove branches of thyme before serving.
Season with salt, pepper, and chili and eventually some more fresh thyme leaves.
Serve hot.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Almond Tuiles

We celebrated the second birthday of our daughter. My husband made a rich chocolate layer cake with chocolate biscuit and chocolate mousse for her. Or maybe rather he wanted to delight himself a bit, as he is crazy about chocolate. His usual breakfast is “pain au chocolat”, eventually fresh baguette with a piece of Cote d’Or milk chocolate.

From that day we had leftover egg whites in our fridge and the decision to make tuiles was spontaneous.

Tuiles are very thin and crispy cookies of curved shape copying roofing tiles. That’s why they are called “tuiles”. They have absolutely crispy texture, like fresh wafers. They are very basic, cheap but delicious cookies, provided that two conditions are met: they have to be crispy and thin.

You can find them in nearly every pastry shop or bakery in Paris and probably in France.
But even though, I did not know tuiles for quite a while after I arrived in France. I simply did not put attention to them as that I am not a great fan of cookies. Maybe a year or two ago my husband showed them to me in a bakery shop located at the corner of rue de Mezières and rue de Rennes in Paris. Their tuiles were not great as opposed to their exquisite “baguette tradition” and excellent “pain brioché” we buy there nearly every day.

There exists different sorts of tuiles, of various flavours, sometimes with the addition of freshly squeezed orange juice, for example, or a touch of Grand Marnier. I also found recipes for salty versions of tuiles with herbs, like rosemary or thyme which I am tempted to try next time.

Tuiles are very easy to prepare. The only problem is to place them, when still hot, on a rolling pin or simply a broom stick (we have not bought a tuiles mold yet), as we did, so they can reach the half-oval shape. I advise to apply melted butter on your baking sheet before baking. Tuiles baked on buttered baking sheet smells incredibly wonderful once removed from the oven.

These cookies are addictive and they disappear immediately in particular when you lay down on your comfortable bed under a warm blanket on a cold evening of March.

The basic tuiles below comes from my husband’s secret notebook. The broom stick which we hung our tuiles on comes from our closet (but we washed it before using it).

Ingredients (makes between 20-25 tuiles)
80 g powdered sugar, sifted
25 g flour, sifted
60 g sliced almonds 
2 egg whites
20 g butter
1 tuiles mold (may be replaced by a broom stick)
Some extra melted butter to apply on the baking sheet

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
In a pan, melt butter on a low flame. Put the pan aside.
In a bowl, mix sugar with almonds and flour.
In a bowl, whip the egg whites to a very sift peak.
Gradually fold in the dry mixture to egg whites, slowly.
Then add melted butter.
Your “appareil” is ready.
Prepare the sheet pan: apply a thin layer of melted butter using a brush.

Spread 1½ teaspoon of tuile “appareil” into 6cm circles, about 2 cm apart, on the sheet pan.
Bake at moderate heat, for about 5-7 minutes or until the cookies get brown around the edges. You really have to watch them. 
In the meantime, prepare the broom stick – you should hang it between two firm points in your kitchen.
Then prepare yourself for the most difficult action.
Remove the sheet pan from the oven, lift tuiles carefully, one at a time (you will notice that they are still soft) and quickly, using a metal spatula, place immediately in the tuile mold or over a rolling pin or a broom stick to cool down.
Continue with the rest of the “appareil”.
Once they are cooled down, eat reading a good book or place them in an airtight container.
Should you leave them in the open air, they probably will be soft and sticky the next day (because of the humidity in the ambient air) instead of dry and crispy.
Cookies lose their crisp texture over time.
That’s why it is best to make them the day they are to be served.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Delicious Sour Rye Soup - Żurek

Polish food has two faces. Traditional, old recipes, with a lot of French influences, from before the communist era, are a remembrance of the days of aristocracy. Many of them are forgotten, although more and more people search for old “bourgeois” recipes. On the other hand you have simple, but tasty comfort food of hard-working farmers. One example of this type of food is żurek.

Żurek, in some regions known as “żur”, is a soup made with sour rye starter. The name of the soup probably has its origins in German language and means “sour”.
The starter – called “zakwas” is made out of water and flour, which acquire an acid taste during the natural process of fermentation. According to old cook books, this soup was one of the basic dishes in peasant’s cooking. Now, it is one of the most popular soups in my country, regardless of the profession and of the social status, thanks to historical changes.

In daily cooking, aside from the starter which is a sine qua non condition of żurek, meat, sausages or smoked bacon usually are used. The vegetarian version, which is often served as a traditional soup for Easter, uses mushroom or vegetable broth.

The key for a successful and delicious żurek is a homemade or a good artisan sour rye starter.
The latter you will rather not get abroad, that’s why I share here with you the traditional Polish recipe for the starter, which I already made many times.

Sour rye starter (zakwas)

Makes 1 liter

6-7 tablespoons whole grain rye flour
1 liter warm (about 30°) mineral water, previously boiled
1 bay leaf
2 grains all spice
2 cloves garlic, thinly chopped
1 jar (1 liter capacity), preferably sterilized
1 piece of fabric to cover the jar and 1 rubber band to hold it

Put flour into the jar and pour the mineral water over it.
Add allspice and the bay leaf.
Slowly, mix with a wooden spatula.
Cover the jar with the fabric, attach it with the rubber band and place the jar in a warm place.
Keep for 4 days.
The ideal temperature is between 18 and 22 degrees centigrade.
Mix delicately the liquid twice a day with a clean wooden spatula and then cover again.
If necessary, remove the foam that is forming on the surface of the liquid.
On the third day, add garlic and mix well.
Before pouring the liquid into the broth (see below) strain it and throw away the flour.
This is optional. Some people prefer to add this flour to the broth, to make the soup thicker.

Good quality rye flour is essential for delicious sour rye starter. The best is coarse rye flour, available practically only in good food markets in Poland. It is so coarsely milled, than I have doubts if one can call it “flour”. Often it is sold by farmers, who make it on their own. Usually I buy the “żurek” flour in Poland.  I did not find this product in France.
In Poland, in stores selling organic food and sometimes, upscale supermarkets, you can buy rye flour called “żurek flour”. It is finely milled in comparison to the one I mentioned above, but you can use it to make a starter, as well. The name “żurek” traditionally refers to the soup made with a sour rye starter.
You may also use Rye Organic Flour which is easily found in organic food stores in France.
There are some other soups prepared with various sour starters, for example “white bortsch” which uses a wheat starter or “żur owsiany” which uses a rolled oats starter. Few Polish people are aware of those differences nowadays.
I found out that ready-to-use sour rye starters available in food markets are quite often made from a mixture of rye and wheat flour. 
Unfortunately, even in Poland, industrial starters have been replacing those traditional ones, which are much better. Industrial starters are available in every Polish food store. Artisanal ready-to-use sour rye starters are available on most food markets, organic shops and some good epiceries.
In Paris, one can find starters in stores carrying Polish food. However, I found out that this industrial starter usually is of poor quality.

More explanation regarding home preparation of the starter:
The proportion between flour and water is not so strict. Some people will prefer a very thick starter and they simply will use more flour than indicated in my recipe.  Some of them will use less flour. Everything depends on one’s preferences. My recipe is in between – the starter is not too thin neither too thick, but quite strong and tasty. Some add a piece of rye bread crust for the taste. As it is difficult to buy “real” rye bread made from artisanal sour dough starter, without softeners, I avoid adding bread, as I do not want to spoil my starter. 

I always use boiled mineral water for my starter as it is known that tap water is not good in Kraków. I prefer to use sterilized jars; however people usually do not pay attention to that. Then some of them complain than the starter is stinky and killed by bad microbes.

Very often the first homemade starter may need a longer fermentation, about one or two days more than indicated in the recipe and, its taste may be less intense. That is why some advice to throw most of first starter away, keeping only a small part of the fermented flour in the jar and then to add to it a new portion of fresh flour and water as indicated in the recipe.
The second starter will ferment quicker and should be ready within two days. Much of it depends on the quality of the flour, as I mentioned above. The temperature is important as well. It may not be too cold and nor too warm. That is why your jar must be stored in a place where the temperature is between18 and 22 degrees centigrade.

It is not necessary to add the allspice, bay leaves and garlic to your starter, as you can always add them straight into the broth. However, adding them to the starter will simply taste better.

Once the starter is ready (you can recognize this by its intense off-white color as well as by its acid smell and taste), it may be used right away or stored, covered, in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

I recommend using only the liquid part of the starter for the soup. Some people, like my grandma, add the liquid and the flour to the soup. I do not like this because the soup is too thick and it resembles a puree. Further, it is more difficult to digest and the taste is “heavier”.


Serves 4

1 liter sour rye starter
300 g veal ribs
4 caps dried ceps
2 white pork sausages, raw (300 g total) – may be replaced by Saucisse de Toulouse
2 carrots, peeled and washed
½ celery root, peeled and washed
1 shallot, unpeeled, washed and cut into halves
2 bay leaves
3 grains all spice
1 teaspoon marjoram
5 to 6 grains black pepper
5 medium potatoes, peeled and washed, cut into small cubes
2 hard boiled eggs, peeled and cut into quarters
100 ml crème fraîche (optional)

Place the meat in a saucepan and add 1 liter of boiling water.
Add mushrooms, bay leaves, allspice and pepper.
Cook for 30 minutes, under the cover.
Then, add carrots, celery root and onion.
Cook until the vegetables are completely soft – between 30 and 40 minutes.
Remove vegetable from the saucepan, add potatoes and sausages, and cook for about 10 minutes, until potatoes are cooked.
Strain the starter and only keep the liquid.
Pour the starter into the broth.
Season with marjoram, salt and pepper.
Bring to a boil, cook for another 5 minutes and serve hot with hard boiled eggs.
Add the cream (optional).

Should you ever have a chance to try this soup in a Polish restaurant, please remember that a good Żurek should be quite acid. Unfortunately, in cheaper places soups are prepared from industrial starters or the proportion between the starter and the stock is not right, thus the soup loses its particular sour taste.
My favorite version of the soup is with white sausage (called biała kiełbasa). It is a sausage usually made of a mixture of pork and beef meat. It usually is sold raw and needs to be cooked or grilled before eating.

White sausage (which is difficult to get in France and sometimes found in shops carrying Polish food) may be replaced by a sausage from Toulouse. You can also use some Polish charcuterie, such as Polish smoked sausages, bacon, ham which are available in shops carrying Polish food in France. It is, however, not obligatory. You can eat your Żurek without any sausage or meat just as a vegetarian version of the soup with eggs and potatoes. Then, instead of preparing a meat broth simply use vegetable or mushroom bullion.
Some people also add whey (or milk plasma), that is, the liquid remaining after milk has been curdled and strained.
Old cookbooks indicate that very old fashioned versions of the soup were using curd cheese; however I never found this version of the soup in any restaurant. 
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