Makes 8 Servings
1 3-4 pound beef chuck
2 cups cabbage julienned into about 2 inch by ½ inch strips
1 cup Sour Kraut (optional)
1 green pepper – diced
1 Medium onion – minced
2 large carrots – grated
3 cloves of garlic – minced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2-3 medium sized potatoes – diced
2 teaspoons of vinegar
Juice of ½ lemon
3-5 black peppercorns
1-2 dried bay leaves
1 teaspoon sugar
I prefer this soup very thick, meaning full of loads of meat and vegetables so that it is a meal on its own. You are welcome to reduce the ingredients or add more liquid. There are about as many variations to this soup as there are cooks. Every cook has their own version, this is mine. I prefer the meaty bouillon but I do not add soup bones because I find that it makes the soup entirely too heavy, especially with all that meat.
Prep time: 20 minutes | Cook time: 4 Hours
In a large soup pot, put in the beef and cover with water so that it reaches almost to the top. You can cut off the fat prior to cooking so that the bouillon will be less fatty otherwise boil it with the fat on and take the fat off prior to dicing. Bring to a boil and reduce to simmer skimming all the foam that comes up. This process should take about 1 ½ hours.
About 1 hour after the meat has been simmering, peel and grate the beets. In a large sauté pan heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil, reduce to low heat and put in the beets. Sprinkle the beets with 2 teaspoons of vinegar (this will allow the beets to set their color while cooking) and ladle just enough stock from the soup pot to barely cover the beets. Cover and cook on very low heat, it should be just simmering away slowly for 1 ½ hours or so.
Take out the meat and set aside. Put the cabbage into the soup pot, bring to boil and reduce to simmer. Let the cabbage simmer away for about 30 minutes before adding the rest of the vegetables. *Note – you can substitute ½ of the cabbage with sour kraut.
In a medium sauté pan heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium low heat. Cook the onions slowly for about 5 minutes until translucent but not browned. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Be careful – it does not take a lot to burn garlic. Turn up the heat to medium and add the carrots and diced green pepper. Sauté for about 3-4 minutes and then put the onions, garlic, green pepper and carrots into the soup pot with the cabbage. Into the same sauté pan add tomato paste, 1 clove of minced garlic, 1 teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon pepper, and ladle just enough bouillon to liquefy and mix everything. Bring to boil and reduce to simmer scraping any bits off the pan. Simmer for about 3-4 minutes and add to the soup.
Peel and dice about 2-3 medium sized potatoes and add to the soup. Take the now somewhat cooled meat and cut off any remaining fat on it. Dice into bite size pieces about 1 inch by ½ inch. Add the diced meat to the soup. Bring to boil and reduce to simmer. Add the beets and your soup will now turn a nice red/purplish color. Simmer for about 5-10 minutes. Add 1 ½ – 2 tablespoons salt (this is depending on salt preference and amount of soup, I add ½ tablespoon at a time and taste check) Add about 3-5 black peppercorns, juice of ½ lemon (this is also to preference and depends on whether or not you added Sour Kraut), 1 teaspoon of sugar, and 1-2 dried bay leaves. Simmer for about a minute and take off heat.