Solyanka (Russian Sweet and Sour Beef Soup)
A mix of fresh and cured beef and pork gives this classic sweet and sour soup heft while briny pickles, capers, and olives add contrast.
Yield: makes 10 Cups
- 1 lb. beef chuck, trimmed
- 8 oz. kielbasa sausage
- 4 oz. boneless ham steak
- 2 oz. hard salami
- 4 whole black peppercorns
- 3 whole allspice berries
- 1 bay leaf
- 4 oz. sliced bacon, minced
- 1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
- 1 stalk celery, thinly sliced
- 1⁄4 small head green cabbage, cored and thinly shredded
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 6 tbsp. tomato paste
- 1 (15-oz.) can whole peeled tomatoes in juice, crushed
- 5 cups beef stock
- 1 1⁄2 large dill pickles, chopped
- 1 1⁄2 tbsp. capers, drained
- 1⁄4 cup pitted black olives, sliced
- 1 1⁄2 tbsp. sugar
- 1⁄2 lemon, thinly sliced
- Chopped parsley, sliced scallions, and sour cream, for serving
- Cut beef, kielbasa, ham, and salami into 1⁄4" pieces; set aside. Place peppercorns, allspice, and bay on a piece of cheesecloth and tie into a tight package; set aside.
- Heat bacon over medium-high heat in a 6-qt. saucepan; cook until crisp, 4–6 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to a bowl; set aside. Add meats to pot; cook until browned, 6–8 minutes. Add onion, celery, cabbage, and salt and pepper; cook until soft, 4–6 minutes. Stir in tomato paste; cook, until slightly caramelized, about 2 minutes.
- Return bacon to pot with spice package, tomatoes, and stock; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, add pickles and capers; cook until beef is very tender, 40–45 minutes.
- Remove spice package. Stir in olives, sugar, lemon, and salt and pepper. Serve with parsley, scallions, and sour cream.