People tend to view Rassolnik as very exotic, due to the fact that its main ingredient is pickled cucumbers, but you will be surprised by this soup. Unexpectedly it doesn’t taste a lot like pickles, because all the other ingredients are combined well and give the soup a wonderful flavor and unique taste. As unusual as it sounds, the soup is deliciously tart and hearty, and I am sure ones you make Rassolnik, it will become a favorite in your house. It is Yummy…. and different! —Kukla
• 1 tablespoon any neutral oil
• 1 pound beef or veal stew meat, cut in bite size pieces + a couple pieces of meat on the bone
• 1 yelow onion, finely chopped
• 2 garlic cloves, crushed
• 1 teaspoon Herbs De Provence, rubbed in palms of your hands
• 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
• 6-7 cups water, depending how thick or thin you like your soup
• Kosher salt to taste
• 1/3 cup pearled barley, rinsed and drained
• 2 medium Russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/4- inches cubes
• 1 medium carrot, peeled and shredded
• 1 parsley root or parsnip, peeled and shredded
• 2 celery ribs, peeled and thinly sliced
• 1 large meaty tomato, peeled, seeded and finely chopped
• About 4 medium pickles (preferably crunchy Kosher Dill Pickles in brine) peeled and finely chopped
Heat the oil in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over high heat. Add the meat and cook, stirring often, until browned. Transfer to a plate.
Add the onion and cook on medium, stirring occasionally until soft and translucent. Add the shredded carrots, parsley root or parsnips, celery, garlic and Herbs De Provence and red pepper flakes; cook, stirring, until soft and fragrant.
Return the meat; add water, about 11/2 teaspoons of salt and barley. Bring to a boil; skim the surface with a large spoon to remove any scum. Reduce heat to low and simmer, partially covered, for 1 hour. Then add potatoes and continue cooking until the meat and potatoes are tender, for about 1/2 an hour to 45 minutes more.
Add the tomato and pickles; cook for about 5 minutes. Now will be a good time to taste and add whatever seasonings you fill are needed. If the soup needs salt, add about 1/4 cup of the Pickling brine and then taste again; add some more if needed.
To serve, ladle the hot soup into bowls, garnish with chopped fresh parsley and dill. It is also traditional to serve Rassolnik with a dollop of sour cream. Enjoy.