Bread Project: Halusky

5 03 2011

The Bread Project continues to be so enriching and fun. These ladies know so much about feeding ourselves. I am grateful for the lessons I learned in the kitchen from my mom, grandma and baba growing up. It was like injecting me with a food gene. We take so much for granted when it comes to cooking. How do we learn to cook? I imagine kids and adults today that haven’t been around food, how would they know what to do? Following a recipe is one thing but the details that are left out can be disastrous. For instance, when a recipe calls for a soup to be blended and you don’t have an immersion blender, you naturally use your blender. If you don’t know to put a towel in between the lid and the blender or keep the lid loose and not air tight, there will be an explosion from the trapped steam (been there, done that). Recipes don’t tell you these things. I do think this is a benefit to cooking shows (the real ones where they cook, like Julia Childs back in the day). Cooks on shows like this tell you the inside scoop on how to do things, what’s not written down. How else do you learn unless you grew up in a kitchen? We talked about kids at school, taking home ec classes. I don’t think it is the recipes that are as important as becoming comfortable with food, and confident enough to experiment. Just knowing how to mix flour with a liquid is a skill that goes a very long way. If home ec isn’t offered anymore in our schools, this is a real problem for the future. The Bread Project is looking at ways to bring these lessons to schools and kids programs in the city, good work to be done.


That’s why this project is so important. We need to pass these lessons onto families and kids so they not only feel a connection to their food but confident to experiment, learn and feed themselves. We made a soup, Halusky (pronounced hal-oo-shkee) the other week with Vera, she is of Russian descent. It was the flavours of my baba’s kitchen. It was so easy and probably cost all of a dollar to make, just like the other recipes we are making. I don’t use a lot of flour in my kitchen, and I know that these recipes originated from stone ground grains that were much healthier for you. Something I will experiment with, replacing the processed white flour with whole grain. However, making this with all purpose flour is just fine. Families spend so much on packaged foods, some flour and eggs can get you a long way, much more healthfully. This soup is like a blanket, comfort.


2-3 eggs
1 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
½ tsp baking powder (but not necessary)
1 medium russet potato
2 green onions (scallions)
1 tbsp butter

  • Bring a soup pot of water to boil, 6 cups
  • While the water comes to a boil, peel and dice the potato, finely slice green onions
  • Add potato, onions and butter to the boiling water, turn down to low boil
  • Whisk the eggs, salt, pepper and baking powder together in a bowl
  • Add the flour, ¼ cup at a time, until the dough is sticky and a bit runny. If it gets too thick you can add a bit of milk or cream, a tablespoon at a time
  • With a teaspoon, scoop and drop small amounts of the dough into the water
  • The noodles cook very quickly, once they rise to the top and puff up, a few minutes, the soup is done
  • Interesting tid bit, in Hungary they use a grater type thing to run the dough through over the hot water and call the noodles Nokedli (pronounced no-ked-lee). Instead of adding to soup, you strain them and make a gravy for them. I love that our cultures are so connected.

How did you learn to cook? I would love to hear your experience.

Eat well, be well,


Soska Soup

7 08 2010

Say what? Soska? What’s that? It’s the Hungarian word for Sorrel. Pronounced ‘shoshka’. This leafy green is also called szczaw in Polish, pronounced ‘shrtav’. It’s also called Spinach Dock and Sour Dock. I grew up calling it soska. It is a perennial so it comes back each spring and like rhubarb, it is a staple in a European garden. Another favourite soup of mine, Soska Soup, reminds me of summer, even late spring.

It’s Saturday, my plans changed and I haven’t spent much time in the kitchen since starting my new contract. What to do? Make soup from the fresh ingredients in our garden. I called mom, at the same time as doing paper work she rattles off the recipe and decides to make her own pot of soup.

Soska Soup

1/2 small onion, diced (No onion? I used chives from our garden for a mild onion flavour)

1 tbsp butter

2-2 1/2 c Diced Potato

4 c Filtered Water + 1 c for thinning soup

1 Bay Leaf

1-2 Chicken Bouillon Cubes (there are veggie ones available)

1 tsp Chopped Fresh Dill

5-6 c chopped soska

2/3 – 1 c Sour Creme

Flour or Kuzu for thickening soup

Saute the onion in butter until browned (or lightly saute the chives). Add potatoes, 4 cups of water, bay leaf, bouillon, dill and simmer until potatoes until they are soft. Taste for flavour? Add the soska, 1/2 cup of water and the additional bouillon if you’d

like. Cook it down, about 15 min. Add sour creme and warm it through. The soska releases water so if it is too thin, dissolve a tablespoon of flour or kuzu in a small amount of warm water and then add it to the soup. If the soup is too thick you can thin it by adding the other 1/2 cup of water and then some creme or more water. I ended up using 1 cup extra of water (total 5 cups) and it was perfect. I added it with the soska all at once because the water was quite low after cooking the potatoes. When I added the sour creme it was the perfect consistency.

Serve with fresh cracked pepper and whole grain toast or a sour dough bun.

How is your first Saturday of August?

Eat well, Be well,