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Hot soup will keep you warm

CABBAGE SOUP
Kopūstų sriuba

½ medium head of cabbage, shredded
1 lb. sauerkraut
5 cups chicken stock (low-sodium can be used, if preferred)
2 cups water
1½ lbs. smoked ham hocks
5 whole peppercorns
2 whole bay leaves
2 medium tomatoes, cored, seeded and diced
1 medium onion, chopped
In a large pot, place the sauerkraut, chicken stock, smoked meat, pepper- corns and bay leaves. Add water to cover. Bring to a boil, reduce tempera- ture, cover and simmer for 1 to 2 hours. Meat should be tender. Remove meat, discard bones, dice and return to the pot. Add the shredded cabbage, tomatoes and onion. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook another hour or so. Add water, as necessary, to keep it soupy. To serve, remove the bay leaves and dish up, with hot boiled potatoes on the side.
Note 1:
If you prefer, substitute 1 cup shredded carrots for the tomatoes. Smoked turkey is a good substitute for the ham hocks.
Note 2:
You can drain and rinse the sauerkraut for a milder dish, but I think this is pretty mild, because of all the liquid and fresh cabbage.
Note 3:
You can reduce the amount of chicken stock if you need to – the meat will add a lot of substance to the liquid.

MUSHROOM SOUP
Grybų sriuba

12-15 dried mushrooms, or
1 pt. canned mushrooms
6 cups water
1 onion
1 potato
1 carrot
2 bay leaves
1 cup sour cream
Salt to taste
For dried mushrooms: soak, wash and precook. For canned mushrooms: drain and rinse in cold water. Slice mushrooms and dice vegetables. Simmer in water with bay leaves and salt until vegetables are done. Remove from heat. Stir a ladle of cooled soup into cream, blend thoroughly and pour back into soup. Keep hot but do not boil again.

BEETROOT SOUP
Burokėlių sriuba – Barščiai

3 lbs. neck bones
6 fresh tomatoes, or 1 can tomatoes
1 cup shredded cabbage
1 onion, chopped
5 cooked red beets, chopped, or 1 can diced beets (reserve juice)
1 bay leaf, salt and pepper to taste
2 Tbsps. vinegar
If fresh tomatoes are used, run boiling water over them and remove skins. Chop tomatoes. Cook neck bones in plenty of water at least 3 hours until meat is tender. Cool and strain in large colander. Remove meat and add to strained broth. Discard bones. In a large bowl add meat and broth. Put into refrigerator overnight. In morning remove grease from top. In a large pot add meat and broth, tomatoes, shredded cabbage, red beats, onion, bay leaf, Hot soup will keep you warm seasonings, and vinegar. Cook on medium heat until all is tender, at least 1½ hours. When soup is done, add red beet juice from can (if canned beets are used). It gives a nice red color. Serve with boiled potatoes or rye bread.

CHICKEN DUMPLING SOUP
Vištienos sriuba su kleckučiais

1 cup onion, medium dice
½ cup celery, medium dice
½ cup carrots, medium dice
1 stick butter
½ cup flour
1 quart chicken stock
1 bay leaf
½ Tbsp. ground sage
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 Tbsps. parsley, chopped
1 cup diced, cooked chicken breast
8 oz. heavy cream

Dumplings:
½ cup all purpose flour
2 tsps. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
1 cup milk
1 tsp. parsley
Sauté onions, celery, carrots in butter in a soup pot until very tender. Add flour to make roux * . Cook 5 to 6 minutes on medium heat. Add chicken stock, pepper, salt, bay leaf, sage and parsley. Stir until slightly thickened and smooth. Slowly stir heavy cream into soup. Add chicken breast. Simmer for 20 minutes.
Dumplings:
Combine flour, baking powder and salt. Add milk, parsley and dry ingredients together; do not over-mix. Consistency should be slightly softer than biscuit dough. Drop teaspoon portion into the hot soup, about 1 inch apart from each other. Cover pot. Simmer about 20 minutes on medium heat until dumplings are done. (By dipping teaspoon into hot soup, dumplings will slide off of spoon).