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Sour Schi

A Russian version of sauerkraut soup, this one is prepared without tomatoes and served with sliced beef brisket.

1 1/2 pounds beef brisket
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 pound good sauerkraut, drained
1 medium carrot, peeled and cut across into 1/4-inch slices
2 tablespoons crumbled dried porcini mushrooms
2 bay leaves
Sour cream
Chopped fresh dill

In a tall, narrow stockpot, cover the brisket with 12 cups of water. Bring to a boil. Skim the scum and fat that rises to the surface. Lower the heat and simmer gently for 2 hours and 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large frying pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Stir in the onion and cook, stirring, until translucent but not browned, about 10 minutes. Sift the flour over the onions and stir to absorb. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute.

Whisk in 2 cups of the cooking liquid from the brisket. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until slightly thickened. Pour into the brisket pot and stir to combine. Stir in the remaining ingredients and simmer for 1 hour.

Remove the brisket from the soup and slice across the grain into 1/4-inch slices. Place two slices in each bowl. Ladle the soup over the meat. Top each portion with sour cream and fresh dill. Makes about 10 cups, 5 main course servings.

"Soup: A Way of Life"
by Barbara Kafka

Thursday, December 28, 2000

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