Kesäkeitto (Summer soup)

Since I started writing my blog, I’ve really been enjoying going back to my past, all the way to childhood, to make foods I’ve not had in a long time. There are so many lovely things I’ve almost forgotten exist, but luckily I now have an excuse to really look into them. This tasty soup’s key elements are milk, and fresh vegetables, and it’s also suitable to vegetarians. I tend to prepare most of the ingredients before starting the cooking, as the soup actually cooks pretty quickly. This recipe makes a big soup, enough for about 8 people.

2 carrots
200g green beans
2 dl peas
1/2 broccoli, cut into small florets
1/2 cauliflower, cut into small florets
500g new potatoes
150g spinach, chopped
4 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 litre water
1.2 litres milk
4 tbsp plain flour

1. Cut the vegetables.

2. Boil the water with the salt and sugar added, then add the carrots, green beans and peas, and boil for 3 minutes.

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3. Add the potatoes, cauliflower and broccoli, and boil for about 10 minutes, until almost cooked.

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4. Mix the flour with 2 dl of the milk, until there are no lumps. Pour the remaining 1 litre of milk into the soup, followed by the flour- milk mixture. Add the chopped spinach, and cook for a few minutes. It’s good to stir the soup during the cooking after the milk has been added, to prevent it from burning at the bottom.

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Stuffed cabbage rolls

When my husband heard the word cabbage mentioned in the same sentence as dinner, I could see he was quite sceptical. I’m glad he did actually enjoy the end result though, and has eaten the leftovers for separate meals since too. There are two variations of this very Finnish food. Stuffed cabbage leaf rolls, and a casserole, where the ingredients are layered in an oven casserole dish, and baked in the oven. The rolls require more work , and the casserole is easier to make. I normally make the casserole, but wanted to try the rolls this time. You would normally use white cabbage, however I wanted to try whether savoy cabbage would work. In terms of flavor it was absolutely fine, however I think white cabbage leaves will work better for the rolls as the savoy cabbage leaves are more fragile, therefore more difficult to use.

1 white cabbage
salt, 2 tsp per 1 litre of water, used for cooking the cabbage
250g mince beef
1 egg
1 tsp
salt
a splash of
white pepper
1/2 dl uncooked
rice, cook in 2 dl water
cooking liquid of the cabbage
~~~~~
Sauce
2 dl cooking liquid of the cabbage
2 dl beef stock
2 tbsp plain flour
salt
pepper

1. Use a knife to cut out the hard core of the cabbage. Boil in salted water until the leaves soften. Take the cabbage out of the water and drain. remove the leaves on at a time, then let cool. Shred / finely chopped the small inside leaves, as they will be used in the stuffing. Keep the cooking liquid.

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2. Cook the rice, rinse with cold water and let drain. Mix the cooked rice, raw mince beef, finely chopped cabbage, spices and egg together. Add 1/2-1 dl of the cooking liquid.

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3. Put a bit of the stuffing on the cabbage leaves. Turn the end of the leaf over the stuffing, then the sides, and roll.

4. Melt some butter in a pan, and fry the cabbage rolls until browned. Add some cooking liquid to the pan, cover with a lid a let cook for about 30 minutes.

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5. Measure the cooking liquid and beef stock in a pan. Mix the flour separately with additional 1/2 dl of the cooking liquid, and stir until fully mixed with no lumps. Pour into the pan. Cook, stirring. Check taste and season if necessary.

6. The cabbage rolls are typically served with lingonberry jam. On this occasion, however, I’ve served them with my father’s homemade rowan berry jam.

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