This hearty soup, pronounced ‘looshcosh’ in Romanian, hails from Ardeal (a region of Transylvanian Romania) and probably comes from the Hungarian soup called lucskos kaposzta.
1. Peel the onions, cut them in half, and slice them thinly. Melt or heat the oil/fat/butter in a large saucepan and add the onions and sauté them gently over a medium heat for a minute or two.
2. Cut the pork into largish chunks and add them to the onions. Continue to cook over a medium heat for about 5-6 minutes, stirring regularly.
3. Grate or finely chop the carrot and add it to the pan, stir it in, give it another couple of minutes.
4. Meanwhile, shred the cabbage and put it on top of the mixture already in the pan, put on the lid, turn the temperature down, and leave to stew for about half an hour. At first, it might seem like a lot of cabbage, but it will wilt down to about half its size. From time to time give it all a good mix and make sure nothing sticks to the bottom of the pan (it shouldn’t if the temperature is low).
5. Once the cabbage has wilted down and has turned a slightly translucent yellowy colour, pour in the water, add the bullion, the thyme, stir well, bring it to the boil, turn the heat right down, and leave on a low heat uncovered for at least 30-40 minutes, an hour if you can.
6. If the soup looks watery, or you prefer it thicker and more ‘sloppy’, you can add a ‘rentas’, which is basically a kind of roux made from flour and pork fat, sometimes with finely chopped onion or garlic added.
7. When done, season it to taste, dish it out, sprinkle with green stuff (dill or parsley seem most popular), and serve with some nice crusty bread, smantana (sour cream), and/or hot peppers.