Cabbage Soup

from Russian Cooking, of the Time-Life Foods of the World series

BEEF STOCK

1 pound fresh lean brisket of beef
5 pounds beef marrow bones, cracked
4 quarts water
1 large onion, peeled and quartered
1 large carrot, scraped
2 celery tops, 6 sprigs of parsley, and 2 bay leaves tied
together
1 tablespoon salt

In a heavy 6- to 8 quart pot, bring the pound of beef, beef bones and 4 quarts of water to a boil over high heat, skimming off any foam and scum as they rise to the surface. Add the onion, carrot, tied greens and salt, partially cover the pot and reduce the heat to low. Simmer 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until the meat is tender but not falling apart. Remove the meat from the pot with a slotted spoon, cut it into small dice and set the dice aside. Continue to simmer the stock partially covered, for about 4 hours longer. Then strain the sock through a fine sieve set over a large bowl, discarding the bones and greens. With a large spoon, skim off and discard as much of the surface fat as you can.

SOUP

4 tablespoons butter
2 cups thinly sliced onions
1 1/2 pounds white cabbage, quartered, cored, then coarsely
shredded
1 celery root, scraped and cut into fine strips
1 parsley root, scraped and cut into fine strips
1 pound boiling potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch dice
(2 1/2 cups)
4 medium tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped
1 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Melt the butter in a 3- to 4-quart pot set over high heat. Add the onions, reduce the heat to moderate, and cook 8 to 10 minutes, or until they are soft but not brown. Stir in the shredded cabbage and the celery and parsley roots, cover the pot, and simmer over low heat for 15 minutes.

Pour in the meat stock and add the reserved diced beef. Simmer over moderate heat (partially covered) for 20 minutes, then add the diced potatoes. Cook another 20 minutes and stir in the chopped tomatoes. Cook 10 minutes longer, then add the salt and a few grindings of pepper. Taste for seasoning. Serve hot.

Comment: I've never found a celery root or parley root, so I use about 2 stalks of celery for both. Instead of brisket, I like to use beef shank (also called shin), which includes the marrow bones; 2 or 3 pounds.

Good with bliny.


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