Raspings are dried breadcrumbs, made from slices of stale bread which are lightly browned in a slow oven. When the bread is golden and completely dry, it is crushed or minced to make fine breadcrumbs. Stored in an airtight jar in a cool place, raspings will keep for up to 1 month. ”..<- Rassolnik

A traditional soup from Russia, Rassolnik (rah-sohl-neyk) has many variations. Basically, the main ingredients are kidneys, vegetables and pickled cucumber, which gives the soup a distinctive flavour. Eggs, zohole or just the yolks and sour cream are usually added. Serve Rassolnik with crisp bread for a light lunch.

1 large pickled cucumber, finely chopped

10 fl. oz. water

4 tablespoons seasoned cornflour made with

4 tablespoons cornflour ,

½ teaspoon salt and

½ teaspoon black pepper

12 lambs’ kidneys, cleaned, prepared and sliced

2 oz. butter

1 small onion, finely chopped

1 celery stalk, trimmed and finely chopped

1 medium-sized carrot, scraped and finely chopped

2 pints home-made chicken stock

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon dried dill

6 oz. leaf spinach, washed and finely shredded

2 egg yolks

5 fl. oz. sour cream

Place the cucumber pieces in a medium-sized saucepan. Pour over the water and set the pan over moderately low heat.

Cover the pan and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside.

Place the seasoned cornflour on a large plate and roll the kidney slices in it to coat them evenly. Shake off any excess

cornflour and set aside.

In a large saucepan, melt the butter over moderate heat. When the foam subsides, add the onion, celery and carrot and fry, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 7 minutes or until the onion is soft and translucent but not brown. Using a slotted spoon, remove the vegetables from the pan and set aside.

Add the kidney slices to the pan and cook them, turning occasionally, for 5 minutes or until they are lightly browned.

Using a slotted spoon, remove the kidneys from the pan and set aside.

Return the vegetables to the pan. Add the cucumber pieces with the cooking liquid, the stock, salt, pepper and dill.

Increase the heat to high and bring to the boil. Add the spinach.

Reduce the heat to low, cover the pan and simmer for 20 minutes.

Return the kidneys to the pan and cook for a further 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small mixing bowl, beat the egg yolks and 2 tablespoons of the soup together with a kitchen fork. Gradually pour the mixture into the pan, stirring constantly.

Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the sour cream and ladle the soup into a warmed, large tureen. Serve immediately.

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