Soups and porridges

In Livonia simple everyday meals were soups, porridges or gruel cooked in large pots. They were cooked from barley, peas, beans, vegetables, mushrooms, sorrel, herbs, adding milk, meat, fish or lard, depending on the season and possibilities. Soup was made thicker by adding small pieces of bread. For the fine stomachs of Livonian noble men, soup was passed through a sieve.

Barley was the most popular crop in Livonia. Barley porridge – made from pearl barley and from 19th century also milk and potatos – was the main course of the lunch. Sometimes the porridge was whisked to make it more airy. Served with streaky roasted pork and onions. In addition to barley oats were used to make porridge.

Pea soup has been cooked before fasting, when consumption of meat is prohibited, since ancient times. Together with groats the peas were well known Lent (Vastlapäev) day food. The nutritive soup helps accumulate strength before the days of cleansing. The yellow pea soup is boiled together with pig trotters or other soup meat, potatoes, carrots and grain. Pea soup is thick, soft and warming.

Sorrels are one of the first greens in spring. They are used to make the soup with smoked pork or other meat of your choice, carrots and groats. Today we also add potatoes that were not available in Livonian times. For additional dose of vitamins, add fresh spinach or nettle leaves. Served with boiled egg, sour cream and rye bread.

The taste of mushroom soup varies depending on the various species of mushrooms, for example, russula, saffron milk cap, bolete or chanterelle. Bolete soup is considered to be a meal of royals. Sweet or sour cream is added to the soup. Nowadays, cream of mushroom soup is no longer passed through the sieve
 but simply blended.

In autumn and winter, thick soups from cabbages, carrots, Swedish turnips, turnips, onions, garlic and beetroot were prepared. If lamb, pork or beef was used, then only on the bone. Today we also add potatoes that were not available in Livonian times. Served with sour cream, generous amount of chopped greens and a slice of rye bread.