From Afghanistan, I am now taking you to Bulgaria in the Culinary Journey around the globe, a part of Srivalli's Blogging Marathon #44.
There were a lot of countries to choose from for the letter 'B' and I have chosen Bulgaria.It is situated in South Eastern Europe and is also called Republic of Bulgaria.Now some facts about this country before going on with the recipe
- Some of the things like the electronic computer, car air bag, digital watches were invented by Bulgarians.
- Though Bulgaria is part of the European Union, its currency is not Euro but 'Lev'.
- The Bulgarian yogurt has a unique flavor and consistency which is a characteristic to hte Lactobacillus Bulgaris, a strain found only in the Bulgarian air. The people attribute their wellness and long life to the fact that they have this yogurt regularly.
- The Rila Monetary in the Rila Mountains houses the famous Rafail's cross. A monk took 12 years to carve it out of a single piece of wood and it is adorned with over 1500 minute figurines!
- There is a replica of the Eiffel Tower in the Golden sands resort.
- The water in the hot water spring in Separeva Banya village is as hot as 103 degree C!
- A very different thing about the mannerism of the people is that they nod their to say NO and shake the heads to say YES!
- It is the home to the rare Black sea seal of which very few are alive today.
Cuisine of Bulgaria:
It is a very diverse cuisine and many still prepare the traditional of dishes that have been handed down through the ages. The most important ingredients in the cuisine are Yogurt and White brine cheese. These two are always present in a meal in one form or the other.Potatoes are also famous in their cuisine and use them in soups, salads, stews etc.Cold cut meats and other speciality meats are also consumed.A wide range of vegetables are cultivated and used in the rural areas. Fruits are also a part of their menu.Rakia is a popular Bulgarian spirit.
Some of the popular dishes of the cuisine include...
- Banitsa - A dough with various fillings such as cheese, spinach, rice and meat
- Tarator - Cold cucumber soup
- Cheverme- a whole lamb roasted on a spit
- Shopska Salad - a local favorite mixed veggie salad
- Kyopolou - Eggplant dip
- Mish mash - A type of omelette
- Sarmi - Stuffed Vine leaves
- Milk Banista - A dessert
Now, by the time I made this soup, my folks had gotten into the habit of tasting and liking my soups and salads. Lil Angel loved the salad and Lil Dude enjoyed soup along with the rest of us...
The Bulgarian bean soup is a sort of 'national dish' and the monastery version is a vegetarian one.
Now for the Soupa Bob we need:
Cooking time- 45 minutes
Adapted from various sources
White beans- 1/2 cup
Tomato - 1, chopped
Carrot- 1, small chopped
Vegetable stock-4 cups
Ginger and garlic, minced- 1/2 teaspoon each
Red chili powder- 1/2 teaspoon
Black pepper powder- 1/2 teaspoon
Salt to taste
Mint leaves- a handful
Oil- 1 teaspoon
Soak the beans over night. Wash well the next morning and pressure cook it with enough water. Drain and keep the beans aside.
Heat oil in a pan and saute the onion , ginger and garlic till the onion is soft. Add the tomato and saute. Out in the chopped carrots and vegetable stock and simmer till the carrot is just cooked. Add chili powder, pepper powder.
Add salt and mint leaves. Let it simmer and thicken a bit.Add the cooked beans and let it come to a rolling boil. Break a few beans with the back of a ladle so that the soup thickens some more. You can also puree a handful of cooked beans and add to the pan.Remove from heat and serve hot....
Serve hot as such or with a few bread pieces...
I also made the Shopska salad that you can see in the background.Be sure to check out this famous salad recipe..
Labels: Blogging Marathon, Bulgarian Cuisine, Flavors from across the border, Slurpy soups, Vegan varieties