Kick up your heels for kasha and mushroom soup

Ukrainian Christmas stars kasha, AKA Buckwheat Groats… ♪♪♭♪

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.

buckwheat or kasha

Kasha (or buckwheat groats) is gluten free

Gluten-free kasha

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.

buckwheat or kasha

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
  1. 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.
  2. In the same pot, add 2 more teaspoons of oil and sauté your onions and garlic for 5 minutes until they start to brown.
  3. Add the last 2 teaspoons of oil and then the carrots & celery.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

Mushroom kasha soup

Mushroom and kasha soup

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!

Dance is everything

Add nutrients, flavor and texture to your meals. Kick up your heels for kasha!

Slow-carb Links

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15 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. strawberrymintsays
    Dec 29, 2014 @ 16:45:39

    Can’t wait to try!

    Reply

  2. archecotech
    Jul 28, 2013 @ 12:13:50

    Since moving to Russia I’ve fallen in love with Buckwheat kasha, I think it’s the major reason for my weight loss (over 25 lbs.) thanks for the link. Na zdorov’ya!

    Reply

    • Vinny Grette
      Jul 28, 2013 @ 14:18:39

      Congratulations! Buckwheat is an acquired taste, as it’s quite strong and unusual. I’ve learned to love it too. My hubby makes buckwheat cabbage rolls. Do they eat beetniks in Russia? It’s a favorite dish in Western Canada. And PS – I too have lost over 30 pounds on my new meal plan (17-day diet). Just love my new foods, which include sauerkraut, yogurt, kefir, tons of new fruits and veggies (salads) etc…

      Reply

  3. stankarecipes
    Jun 10, 2013 @ 15:32:46

    Hope to cook this recipe soon!

    Reply

  4. claudiacharette
    May 02, 2013 @ 09:54:39

    I’ve never seen kasha before! Glad I checked this out, looks great!

    Reply

  5. cardamama
    Mar 06, 2013 @ 16:23:14

    Awesome post! I love kasha. I eat it for breakfast most every day. Now I’ll have to try it in a savory application too. =)

    Reply

  6. Vinny Grette
    Feb 27, 2013 @ 21:31:07

    I just read a post that says buckwheat can help with chronic pain because of exceedingly high amounts of malic acid. Yay! Check here: http://inthelandofpain.wordpress.com/2013/02/26/food-that-can-help-with-pain-relief

    Reply

  7. Fae's Twist & Tango
    Feb 27, 2013 @ 04:05:43

    Kasha sounds wonderful… can one buy it at any grocery store? Soup looks very appetizing. Fae.

    Reply

  8. Janet Rörschåch
    Feb 26, 2013 @ 16:39:38

    Love this recipe and it’s gluten-free….WOOT!

    Reply

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