Saturday, April 03, 2010
#59 Влашка саламура (Vlashka salamura soup)
This soup is very traditional for north-western Bulgaria, but nowadays has become popular throughout the country.
Combining mainly proteins with vegetables and oils it is also treasured by people on a high-protein diets or food combining diets, as it does't contain carbohydrates.
The most specific thing about this soup is that the vegetables and the meat are chargrilled before added to boiling water. This makes the taste incredibly richer.
Originally the recipe required fresh tomatoes to be chargrilled (or baked in an oven) and then peeled and chopped, but unless you grow your own tomatoes or have a very trustworthy supplier, better use canned ones. I'll explain how I did it without fresh tomatoes. The problem is fresh tomatoes sold in supermarkets are fine only for salads and not for cooking.
The original recipe also requires a herb called lovage
1 tbsp olive oil
2 chicken thigh fillets
3-4 Bulgarian red roasting peppers (if you can't find Bulgarian ones, the Turkish ones will do the job as well)
2 large ripe tomatoes or 400 ml can peeled plum tomatoes
7-8 cloves garlic
1 large onion
fresh lovage (or celery) leaves
1.5 l water
Chargrill the chicken fillets, tomatoes and peppers. Or alternatively bake the peppers and tomatoes on a lined tray in the oven for 10-15 minutes, them stop the heat leave them for another 10 minutes so that the peel comes off easier. Or if you use canned tomatoes, skip this step for them.
Instead of chargrilling the chicken, put the fillets in a pan with a couple of drops of olive oil for 4-5 minutes and turn. When the second side of the fillets is also golden, take them off the pan, set aside and slice. In the meantime add the canned tomatoes to the pan, using the juices from the chicken. Heath through for 6-7 minutes.
Put the water in a saucepan and bring to the boil, add the onion and garlic, the shredded meat, the peeled and shredded peppers and the tomatoes.
Season with the salt, pepper, parsley and lovage or celery leaves.
Bring to the boil and simmers for 20 minutes.