Georgian Soups and Stews
Nowhere is the diversity of Georgian cuisine so artfully reflected as in the multitude of stews and soups which have been prepared in the land for ages using an array of ingredients and complex cooking techniques. Georgian soups and stews offer a real kaleidoscope of tastes for gourmets and adventurous travelers:
Kharcho is a traditional Georgian beef stew from the Samegrelo Region. While the soup has a thick, rich and delicious bouillon, it is the harmonious mixture of nuts and local spices that make kharcho truly unforgettable. Megrelian kharcho is a regional variety that is usually prepared with chicken and, to a lesser extent, veal. A modern variation of this ethnic beef soup has also become quite popular in Georgia. Called soup-kharcho, it’s a standard beef soup with bullion and rice that actually bears little resemblance with its namesake.
Chaqapuli is an East Georgian lamb stew. Chaqapuli is a seasonal dish, typically prepared in spring when fresh cherry plums and tarragon are available. The bouillon of chaqapuli has an unusual green color and a very fresh taste, thanks to the tarragon and a local cherry plum sauce known as tkemali. The most delicious chaqapuli is made in the Kakheti Region of Georgia.
Matsvnis Supi is a great choice for those who wish to combine their love of milk products and soups. This soup is made with a traditional sour cream known as matsoni, which can be found throughout Georgia and the whole South Caucasus Region. The soup has a very refreshing taste and is perfect for vegetarians.
Chikhirtma is a Georgian chicken soup flavored with typical herbs and spices and thickened with wheat flour which is blended with the bouillon. What truly makes it unique, however, are the unusual ingredients such as vinegar and eggs that are added to the dish, which infuse this delicious soup with an outstanding aroma. Chikhirtma is considered by many to be the king of Georgian soups and stews due to its extraordinary taste.
Chakhokhbili is a chicken stew prepared with tomatoes, onions and herbs. In old times, this stew was made with pheasant, which is where the dish derived its name (khokhobi means pheasant in Georgian). Although chakhokhbili is typically made with chicken nowadays, the name has remained unchanged.
Khashi Soup is a thick and nutritious beef broth soup seasoned heavily with garlic. Vegetables, herbs, milk and bread are all common additions to khashi soup, which is usually eaten in the morning for breakfast.