Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Vladimir and Lyudmila Putin are finally divorced.

The art of Kremlinology is not dead.  Keen analysts of the Russian government website have noticed a change in Vladimir Putin's marital status - gone is the reference to his being married to Lyudmila Aleksandrovna Putina.  His spokesperson, Dimitri Peskov, explains that this is because they are now divorced.  They officially separated a year ago in 2013 following a number of years of speculation and rumours because Lyumila had not been seen in public accompanying her husband. 

When Lyudmila (and Vlaidimir) Putin visited the UK in 2003, The Times newspaper published Mrs Putin's Ukho (fish soup) recipe (which I kept). The dish is called Ukho, a traditional Russian fish soup, which literally translates as "ear" soup . It could be said that she no longer has the ear of Putin, so to mark the sad occasion of their divorce, here is Mrs Putin's fish soup recipe that Vladimir won't be enjoying any more:


1 pike-perch 
1 pike 
1 potato 
1 carrot 
2 onions 
3 cloves garlic 
1 bunch parsley, coriander and fennel leaves 
2 eggs Cinnamon, 
curry powder, 
4 tomatoes 
Orange peel 
4 sticks celery 
4 spring onions 
A cup of vinegar, 
lemon juice or white wine 

Gut and remove the gills from the pike-perch and pike, leaving their scales on. Marinade them for one and a half hours in “sour water” (vinegar, lemon or white wine). Then remove the head, tail and skin (with the scales still on) and place them in cold water, leaving the fish to one side. Add salt, a whole potato, a carrot, onion, three cloves of garlic in their skin, some parsley stems (remove the leaves for later) fennel and saffron. Bring to the boil and simmer on a low heat for one hour. Then drain, keeping the stock. Cut the pike-perch into strips 3cm wide and put the pike and the onion from the stock through a mincer. Add two egg-yolks, pinch of cinnamon, curry powder and saffron. Mix together and roll the mixture into balls about 10cm in diameter. Plunge tomatoes into boiling water for 15 seconds, then skin and cut into pieces. Finely chop celery (removing leaves), spring onions and an ordinary onion and sauté in olive oil. Finely chop parsley leaves, coriander and some orange peel. Bring stock back to the boil and one by one add the fish balls made from the pike and strips of pike-perch and boil for ten minutes. Add tomato, sautéd celery, spring onion and onion, orange peel, parsley and coriander as well as your favourite spices (a little curry powder and some saffron). Bring to the boil, take off the heat and allow to cool a little before serving. 

Serves four

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