Monday, July 21, 2014

Summer food: Estonian milk and vegetable soup

Köögivilja-piimasupp. Kesäkeitto. Estonian milk and baby vegetable soupl

It's mid-July, which here in Estonia means the peak of summer. We're having a beautiful summer here, with lots of sun and not much rain. It's the end of the wild strawberry season, it's the height of chantarelle mushroom season (but too early for most other wild mushrooms), and it's the start of the beautiful local vegetable harvest season. Here's a traditional milk soup that glorifies those early tiny vegetables that are still crisp and sweet. I bought the cauliflower and potatoes - simply because I don't grow these, but the carrots and snap peas were from our own little back yard.

Although the soup is part of the Estonian traditional cuisine, it's not just Estonian. Our Northern neighbours, the Finns, eat a similar soup, called kesäkeitto or summer soup (I've provided links to several recipes at the end of the post). The Swedish name for the soup is snålsoppa or sommarsoppa.

The soup is best served with some buttered dark rye bread. It's best on day one, though it reheats well. However, be careful not to burn the milk. There's nothing worse than burnt or simply overcooked milk soup, trust me :)

Estonian milk and vegetable soup
(Köögivilja-piimasupp)
Serves four to six

Piima-köögiviljasupp. Kesäkeitto. Estonian milk and vegetable soup.

a handful of baby carrots
1 small head of cauliflower or white cabbage
a large handful of (sugarsnap) peas
a large handful of new potatoes
500 ml (2 cups) water
1 tsp salt
2 Tbsp butter
1 litre (4 cups) full-fat milk
fresh dill, finely chopped

Scrub the carrots and potatoes clean, then cut the potatoes into small chunks and the carrots into slices about 3-4 mm thick (if you've got pretty slim carrots, then you can also halve or quarter them lengthwise instead, see the photos). Divide the cauliflower into small florets, or shred the cabbage into small thick slices. Pod the peas, if using regular green peas.

Place carrots, potatoes and cauliflower/cabbage into a medium saucepan. Add water, season with salt and butter. Bring into a boil. Half-cover with the lid and simmer for about 15-20 minutes, until the vegetables are almost cooked. Add the peas and cook for 5 more minutes.

Now pour in the milk. Bring slowly into a boil, stirring gently. Remove from the heat, add the dill and season to taste. Serve and enjoy.

Piima-köögiviljasupp. Kesäkeitto. Estonian milk and vegetable soup.

Similar recipes:
Finnish summer soup by Alanna @ Kitchen Parade
Kesäkeitto by Wendy @ A Wee Bit of Cooking
Summer soup (kesäkeitto) by Lakshmi @ Pure Vegetarian (no recipe, but, oh, the photos!)
Finnish summer soup @ The Kitchn
Summer Soup by Mia @ Cloudberry Quark
Summer soup (snålsoppa) by Katarina @ Hovkonditorn: Passion for Food and Baking

13 comments:

Joy said...

Delicious! Your soup sounds somewhat similar to a Polish one I've had here in Warsaw. Only they added a splash of cream, not as much milk as yours. We also are enjoying chanterelle season too! Yum!

Alanna Kellogg said...

Oh I do so love kesäkeitto! In fact, it’s already on the menu plan when my family visits week after next! Yours is lovely, Pille!

Alanna Kellogg said...

PS I wandered over to PureVege, ah yes, lovely lovely pictures ... there is a recipe, there’s a link at the very bottom of the post, links to a recipe on Google docs.

Kairi said...

I have tried this one and it is very good. My grandmother used to make it often:)

Arno said...

My mother made this often. I'm tempted to try making it myself.

Karen said...

Oh yes, I love this soup. My grandmother used to make it too. She often used the tiny baby carrots from her garden when she was thinning them out.

Toomas Tom Nelson said...

Piimasupp what a treat - often just with fresh peas shelled from the garden.

Kate Ramos said...

Oh yum! What a delicious perfect summer soup. I have everything in my garden to make it!

Jeff @ Cheese-burger.net said...

This soup is very delicious and full of summer goodness.

Roxy said...

Looks spectacular!

Gregory Taff said...

I lived in Latvia 2 years and have recently fallen in love with Estonia! I'll have to try this soup dish!!

I just started a website to offer opportunities to host dinner in your home - to traveling or local guests, for fun or extra money. Please check it out and sign up if you're interested: www.purpledinner.com

Thanks for the wonderful recipes!
Greg

ChichaJo said...

I have never had anything like this Pille...sounds delicious! You are so lucky to grow fresh vegetables in your garden!

Pille said...

Joy - I didn't know there's a similar soup in Poland, but then it's not unlikely :)

Alanna - I knew you'd love it!!!

Kairi - my mum has made it, too!

Arno - did you give it a go?

Karen & Tom - thinned carrots and fresh peas are perfect here!

Kate - give this a go!

Jeff, Roxy - thank you!

Joey - I know! It's such a treat always!

Gregory - I'll check out your website!