Updated: Oct 21, 2021
I love, love buckwheat!!! And roasted buckwheat is the absolute BEST. It’s my comfort food; probably like mac and cheese for American kids. Honestly, I can’t live without it. Whenever we travel, the first meal I make for myself is buckwheat soup or buckwheat porridge. No matter the season or my location, a spoonful of this delightfully earthy soup transports me back home. It tastes slightly different each time I make it, depending on the mushrooms I use. It's mushroom season now, so it's the perfect time to enjoy a bowl of buckwheat soup with wild mushrooms.
Daily soup eating is a cultural thing in many European countries. We all love soup. My first year in the US, that’s all I would order every time we went out. And when my mom comes to visit me, she wants soup almost immediately. The soup I’m showing you today was one of my childhood staples. Everyone loves this soup in Ukraine; it’s so popular. I have been making this soup for as long as I can remember! My family made it a lot during Lent because it’s vegetarian and very filling. This healthy, hearty soup can keep you satisfied and in shape.
In case you didn’t know, buckwheat is gluten free and is not considered a grain at all! It’s actually a seed. High in protein and minerals, with similar health properties to quinoa, if you haven’t tried buckwheat yet, you’re in for a treat!
Prep time: 20 min
Cooking time: 30 min
Total time: 50 min
Author: Inna of innichkachef.com
1 cup buckwheat
1/2-1 cup dry wild mushrooms
2 big carrots (divided; one for soup and one for zazarka*)
2 onions (divided; one for soup and one for zazarka)
8 cups water
2 teaspoons tomato paste
1/2 cup fresh herbs (parsley, dill)
1 cup chopped scallions
2-3 tablespoons extra virgin sunflower oil
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
A few bay leaves
Freshly ground black pepper and salt to taste
*What is Zazarka?
Zazarka is a base for many Ukrainian dishes and consists of sautéd onions and carrots called.
1. Rinse the buckwheat, and soak the mushrooms for about 15-30 minutes while you prepare the onions and carrots in step 2.
2. To make Zazarka: in a pot (I like to use a Dutch oven) add oil, chopped onions, one shredded carrot, salt, and black pepper. Cook on low heat until the onions become translucent.
3. Add buckwheat and chopped mushrooms without soaked water. Cook for about 3 minutes so the buckwheat can soak up the flavors.
4. Add the mushroom soaked water and tomato paste. Stir.
5. Add the chopped potatoes, bay leaf, red pepper flakes, and water. Cover the pot.
6. Meanwhile chop the rest of the onions and shred the rest of the carrots, then add to the pot.
7. Let the soup simmer for 25-30 minutes.
8. Taste for salt and add scallions, parsley, and dill.
You can top this soup with sour cream and chopped dill. I also recommend enjoying it with a slice of Artisan bread!