Borscht is another Ukrainian soup whose popularity long ago spread to the eastern Baltic countries, especially Russia where it’s now considered a national dish. Although borscht is usually not a hot-peppery soup, I’ve eaten some surprisingly spicy versions of it on my travels in Russia and Eastern Europe.
This soup of Russian/Ukrainian origin is also popular in the three Baltic States (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania), Poland, and eastern Germany—an example of the influence of Russian foods on the cuisines of countries that were once under the domination of the Soviet Union. Solyanka’s popularity is attributed to its versatility (using any kind of leftover meat or fish) and the combination of piquant flavors that make you crave a second bowl of it.
This is turkey as it is served on Saint Martin’s Day, November 11, in Nereto. Carol Field advises: “Do not use a light hand with the rosemary or garlic.” I skipped the part about cutting the turkey in half and it didn’t seem to make any difference. I didn’t stuff the turkey with my usual cornbread-green chile mixture because I wanted it to be as traditional as possible. That said, I did add some spicy smoked paprika to add a little heat because I’m a capsaicin addict.
Here’s a great use for that turkey stock. You can substitute any other vegetables you like for these.