My Nana (paternal grandmother) was born in Kiev, Russia in 1894. In the 1960's Nana and Papa lived a few miles from our house in Chicago. I remember coming home from school in the winter to kitchen windows that were all steamed up. Nana was at our house and she was making soup! I vividly remember Nana's borscht. It tasted sweet, and sour, and it had lots of meat, short ribs to be exact.
Cookbook author Barbara Kafka has a recipe in her fabulous book, SOUP: A Way of Life, that reminds me of that borscht. She says she made it for her father who was from Slutzk, a shtetl (small town with a large Jewish population) near Minsk. Barbara's Red Russian Soup tastes quite similar to how I remember my Nana's soup.
My mother sometimes took notes while watching her mother-in-law cook, and that is how we were able recreate her delicious Meat Soup. Unfortunately, we have no recipe of my Nana's borscht so I am grateful to Barbara for her excellent recipe and the inspiration for me to make A Borscht Like Nana's.
To make this wonderful soup, you can follow the directions in my previous post, Beet Soup with Truffle Oil but do not purée. Additionally, simmer 3 lbs. beef short ribs in water until butter tender, 2+ hours. Trim the fat and cut the meat into bite-sized pieces. Add the de-fatted meat broth and meat to the beet soup. Simmer. Serve over a cubed boiled potato. Top the meaty borscht with a dollop of sour cream.
How apropos that my blogger friend Joan Nova of Foodalogue is featuring Russian food now on her Culinary Tour Around the World. I am sending this nostalgic soup over to Joan, to participate in her Russian adventure. Come travel to Russia with us!