One (3 pound) lean beef brisket, trimmed of remaining fat
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 large onion, diced
3 plum tomatoes, diced
3 celery stalks
2 cups shredded cabbage
4 small beets
3 quarts beef/chicken/vegetable stock
1 cup sauerkraut
Freshly ground black pepper
Sugar, to taste
Chopped fresh dill for garnish
1. Wash and cut beets in half. Place on a roasting pan, pour half a cup of water and cover with foil. Roast at 350F for 25 minutes or until beets are soft to pierce with a knife.
2. When the beets are done, pull the out and set aside to cool.
3. Place the meat on a roasting rack and roast for 15 minutes at 350F. This is great for bones – improves their flavor.
4. Meanwhile, in a sauté pan, sauté finely chopped garlic and diced onions. Add 3 tsp salt.
5. Add in tomatoes, celery and carrots. Continue to sauté until the vegetable medley gets softer and more translucent.
6. When the meat is done, pull it out and place in a stock pot. Add the stock and bring to a boil. Remove any foamy whiteness that forms while the water is boiling.
7. Add the vegetable medley to the pot.
8. Grate the beets with a coarse grater and add to the pot.
9. Add the cabbage and the sauerkraut. If you feel that you need more liquid to balance the “stuff” in your soup, add some water or more stock, if you have it on hand.
10. Lower the heat and continue to simmer the soup. After half an hour, taste and add salt and pepper to suit your preferences. If needed, add sugar.
11. Simmer for another hour and continue to taste for flavor.
12. Serve with chopped dill as garnish.
This soup can also be made as a vegetarian version. Just omit everything to do with meat and use vegetable stock instead.
Sauerkraut can be easily purchased, however, it can also be easily made. A recipe for a homemade sauerkraut, Russian-style, will appear shortly. Maybe in a few days.