Vinny’s soup recipe today features an ancient food called kasha, AKA buckwheat groats. If you aren’t of Ukrainian or Russian descent, kasha might be new to you. This slow-carb staple, though, is not a grain. It’s a flower bud. How lovely is that!
Kasha’s a great way to get some healthy carbohydrates into your meal plan, as well as a slew of other nutrients. We eat it on Christmas Eve in our family, but once buckwheat is in the cupboard, we use it through the winter.
Substituting kasha for refined grains is perfect for people on gluten-free diets, as well as for folks on the 17-day diet. It delivers high-quality protein in a slow-carb, complex food.
Leslie Beck, RD, Canada’s leading nutritionist, says, “Kasha is closer to being a complete protein than other plant sources, including soybeans, since it contains all eight essential amino acids in good proportion. In particular, kasha contains significant amounts of the amino acid lysine, which makes it unique as a grain substitute, since this amino acid is typically lacking in most true grains.”
One cup of kasha gives you 20% of your daily fiber. It is also full of B vitamins and magnesium, which helps lower blood pressure.
Another special benefit is that kasha is high in rutin, a flavonoid that strengthens blood vessels and prevents blood clotting… truly good for your heart!
As it’s gluten-free, it’s also suitable for people with celiac disease.
Ready in 15 minutes, kasha is quick-cooking and versatile. Use kasha wherever you would use rice. It’s also great as a cereal, as a filler in ground meat, as a replacement for pasta, and as an alternate for oats in cookies and muffins.
But the recipe I’m sharing here is for soup. M-M Good.
Mushroom and kasha soup
Makes 6 large servings
- 1/3 cup dried mushrooms, soaked in 3 cups boiling water
- about 2 tablespoons canola oil, separated
- 1 lb mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
- 1 large onion, diced
- 1 large carrot, peeled and diced
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- salt & pepper to taste
- 2 bay leaves
- 6 cups chicken stock (the soup thickens if you keep it in the fridge a day or two)
- 1 cup kasha
- 6 okra, washed and sliced (optional)
- enough salt and lots of pepper to taste
- 1-2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- In a large, heavy-bottomed pot, add 2 teaspoons oil and saute the sliced mushrooms. Let the slices brown. Add salt and pepper to taste. Set the sauteed mushrooms aside.
- In the same pot, add 2 more teaspoons of oil and sauté your onions and garlic for 5 minutes until they start to brown.
- Add the last 2 teaspoons of oil and then the carrots & celery.
- While the vegetables are cooking, drain the dried mushrooms but keep the soaking liquid. Dice the mushrooms and toss them into the pot. Once the vegetables are cooked nicely, stir in the soaking liquid. Keep the gritty stuff at the bottom from getting into your soup.
- Once the mushroom stock is bubbly, add the sautéed mushrooms, stock, kasha, okra, and bay leaves. Bring everything to a boil and reduce to a simmer for 20 minutes or until the kasha is cooked through and the soup is thick. Season to taste. Garnish with grated cheese or roasted pine nuts if you like.
Makes 6 servings. Each serving contains: Calories (kcal) 286.6, fat (g) 8.6, sodium (mg) 582.1, potassium (mg) 909.3, carbohydrate (g) 43.2 (fiber (g) 6.1, sugar (g) 7.3), protein (g) 13.2, vitamin A (RAE) 245.7, vitamin C (mg) 7.6, calcium (mg) 45.3, iron (mg) 2.1, folate (DFE) 73.7.
How does it taste?
Fabulous. It may take a few times out of the gate before you get to LOVE the essence that is kasha. It tastes nothing like rice or even oats. To me, it has a meatiness, in keeping with all the protein it packs.
The unusual flavor of kasha marries well with the earthiness of mushrooms.
Kasha definitely perks up with a little salt. But don’t overdo it for your heart’s sake.
The Worcestershire sauce gives the soup a real kick, almost like sweet and sour soup. Keep tasting until you like the result.
To your health/Na zdorov’ya!
Add nutrients, flavor and texture to your meals. Kick up your heels for kasha!
- Hummus… Pretty in Pink! – A basic slow-carb food you can enjoy at a party or anytime you want a tasty snack.
- Bertie Bott pops some corn Popcorn is one carb that makes a good snack. Try some taste tests to create your favorite flavor at home.
- Quinoa goes to a party Make a large salad the day ahead full of good carbs of all types.
- Buckwheat helps with chronic pain – It’s due to the malic acid.