1 tablespoon mixed pickling
spices, tied in a square of cheesecloth
2 medium onions, thinly sliced and separated
1 stalk celery, thinly sliced
8 cups hot water
1 small head
(about 1 1/2 pounds) green or white cabbage, washed and drained
Sour cream or
plain yogurt (optional)
Snipped fresh dill or dried dill (optional)
Rinse corned beef well under cold running water, then place in a 5- to 6-quart
lidded pot. Cover with the cold water and bring to a full boil; drain. Add bay leaf,
cinnamon stick, pickling spices, onions and celery. Cover with the hot water. Bring
to a boil, cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer slowly for 31/2 to 4 hours, or
until meat is very tender.
Remove corned beef; discard pickling spices and bay leaf. Cut corned beef into
thick slices; return to cooking liquid. Note: At this point, the cooking liquid
and corned beef can be transferred to a large shallow container, briefly cooled,
covered and refrigerated for up to 2 days before serving.
Shortly before serving, cut cabbage into quarters; slice into thin shreds and
add to soup. Bring to a boil and cook, uncovered, for 2 to 3 minutes, just until
cabbage is limp but still bright green.
Serve immediately in large soup bowls, placing a slice or two of the beef into
each bowl and adding some of the vegetables and broth. Top each serving with a dollop
of sour cream and fresh or dried dill, if desired.