Rassolnik (Russian Barley and Pickle Soup)

Rassolnik

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  1. 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.
  2. Skim off any impurities that rise to the top to keep the soup clear.
  3. Saute dill pickles with 1 tablespoon olive oil for a few minutes over medium-high heat.
  4. Add pickles, potatoes and sliced carrots to the stock pot and cook for an additional 10 minutes while making Mirepoix.
  5. Mirepoix: Add 3 tablespoons olive oil to a large skillet and sauté onion for 2 minutes.
  6. Add sliced celery and continue to saute for about 5 minutes.
  7. Stir tomato paste or ketchup into the pan and add this mixture to the stock pot.
  8. 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.
  9. Serve with a dollop of sour cream and a dill sprig on top, if desired.

Yield: 12 servings

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