Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Cecil's Sweet and Sour Cabbage Borscht

From Cecil's Deli, St. Paul, via

Minnesota Eats Out
by Kathryn Strand Koutsky and Linda Koutsky
Minnesota Historical Society Press

[added notes by me in brackets]

2# meaty soup bones
6 c. water
1 small onion, minced
2 ribs celery, thinly sliced
2 carrots, peeled and grated
1/2 head of cabbage, thinly sliced and cut crosswise into 1- to 2-inch sections [I think the dense storage cabbage with glossy leaves works slightly better than Napa cabbage.]
1 can (14.5 oz) whole or diced tomatoes, with juice
2/3 c. or 12 oz can of tomato puree [this is how the recipe reads. I know 2/3 c. does not equal 12 oz.  On the other hand, I only ever see LARGE cans of tomato puree, so I have substituted a 6 oz can of tomato paste whisked together with an equal amount of water, and it works.]
1 t. sour salt (citric acid, if not available, use salt and the juice of 1 lemon)
generous 1/2 c. sugar
Salt and pepper to taste

Place bones in a large soup pan; add water.  Bring liquid to a simmer.  Cover pan and allow liquid and bones to continue simmering until broth has a good beefy taste.  Skim off foam or put broth through a strainer, retaining liquid.  [And if the soup bones you find are like the ones I tend to find, and you don't remove fat in advance, you'll probably want to remove some of the fat now as well.]  When bones cool, cut meat off bones and cut into small pieces.  Return beef and broth to soup pan; add minced onion, celery and carrot.  Bring to a simmer.  Add sliced cabbage, tomatoes, tomato puree, sour salt and sugar.  (If using whole tomatoes, break them apart with a potato masher.)  Allow soup to simmer at least 30 minutes, until the cabbage is soft.  Taste.  Soup should be fairly sweet.  Adjust seasoning with salt & pepper, if desired.

Serve hot, makes about 10 servings. 

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