Sunday, November 4, 2012

Eastern European Comfort Food

With the cool weather, soups are lovely.  In any weather soups are splendid, but especially in cooler weather.  Here is one of my absolute favorite soups.

1 lb. stew meat cut into bite-size chunks
2 T oil
1 onion coarsely chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed  (More garlic and onion is completely acceptable)
1 can tomatoes
1 T sugar
1 bay leaf
1 tsp. celery salt (I have added celery in the past, also tarragon in place of this)
1/2 tsp. basil
1 T salt
1/4 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. pepper
5 cups water
2 1/2 cups shredded cabbage
1 bunch of beets, peeled and shredded
(You may also add carrots or other stuff)
1/2  cup lemon juice
2 T parsley chopped
1 carton sour cream

Brown meat in oil in deep Dutch oven or in large soup kettle.  Add onions and garlic.  Stir occasionally.  Continue cooking until onions become soft and transparent.  Add tomatoes, seasonings, and water.  Add more water if necessary until all ingredients are just covered.  Bring to boil.  Add cabbage and beets and lemon juice. Then simmer gently for an hour or so.

Serve with a dollop of sour cream on top. 

It is best the second day, heated up on the stove.  A stout rye makes an excellent accompaniment.