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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Soup Season Inspiration

Besides the trademark borshch, or beet soup, and shchi, or cabbage soup, Russian cuisine has a number of other noteworthy types of soup.

Since it's getting cold and blustery outside, this is the time to try them.

One of them is molochny soup, or milk soup, which consists of noodles or rice boiled in milk. Fans of hot and spicy food will not get too excited about this culinary option -- milk soup can be sweet or salty but it is always very mild.

I recently had dinner at an organization run by the Moscow branch of the Hare Krishnas and was served this half-forgotten soup, which knew better days in Soviet stolovayas, or cafeterias, long before anyone had heard about Hare Krishnas in Russia. I haven't been able to discover milk soup's origins, but the fact that it never contains meat makes me wonder if it came from kosher kitchens.

The most evocative soup I've ever sampled is soup s klyotskami, or dumpling soup. It always makes me think of the misty skies of Albion. Eating it is like imbibing a spoonful of fog and clouds.

The fogginess that inspires my imagination is the result of a handful of semolina boiled in chicken bouillon with some potatoes and carrots. Semolina is called mannaya krupa in Russian, which sounds close to manna, the food of the gods.

That's probably an indication that the gods, if they exist, like to sup on this stomach-friendly food.