Rassolnik (Russian Barley and Pickle Soup)
- 12 cups water
- 1 pound lean beef, cut into bite-size pieces
- 1/4 cup barley, rinsed
- 1/2 tablespoon salt, or more to taste
- 3 medium potatoes, diced
- 2 carrots, thinly sliced into rings
- 1 1/2 cups diced dill pickles
- 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 onion, finely diced
- 2 celery ribs, finely sliced
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste or ketchup
- 2 tablespoons dill (optional)
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Sour cream and extra dill, for serving
- Add 12 cups water, beef, barley, salt to a stock pot. Partially cover with a lid, bring to a boil, then simmer for 30 minutes.
- Skim off any impurities that rise to the top to keep the soup clear.
- Saute dill pickles with 1 tablespoon olive oil for a few minutes over medium-high heat.
- Add pickles, potatoes and sliced carrots to the stock pot and cook for an additional 10 minutes while making Mirepoix.
- Mirepoix: Add 3 tablespoons olive oil to a large skillet and sauté onion for 2 minutes.
- Add sliced celery and continue to saute for about 5 minutes.
- Stir tomato paste or ketchup into the pan and add this mixture to the stock pot.
- Add bay leaves, black pepper, dill (if using) and more salt to taste. Continue to simmer for another 2 minutes or until potatoes are fully cooked and can be easily pierced with a fork.
- Serve with a dollop of sour cream and a dill sprig on top, if desired.
Yield: 12 servings