Bortsch

 

(Also know as the Red Army’s favorite soup)

Step 1: First we must have five liters of water. Not a drop more, and not a drop less.

Step 2: We need three kilograms of beef, and a kilogram and a half of lean pork.

Step 3: Then, five leeks, one to every liter of water, and four hundred grams of cabbage. We will use five hundred, though. It won’t do any harm. One kilogram of beetroot, half a celery, a handful of chopped parsley. In case of no parsley you may use kale.

Step 4: For God’s sake, 5 pieces of garlic.

Step 5: It must have sour cream.

Step 6: Butter, salt and pepper for seasoning.

Step 7: The onions. The white of the leeks. The cabbage. Half the beetroot, and the celery in narrow strips.

Step 8: Now, we brown the veg’ a smidgin in good unsalted Ukrainian butter. There’s no butter like Ivan’s butter.

Step 9: In with the meat now, and while it’s cooking we’ll sing the Poacher’s Aria from Jagerbrauten.

Step 10: If you got a little duck lying around you might as well make use of it and dump it in. First you brown him, fillet him, take out all the bones and sinews and cut him into small pieces. Let him fall in piece by piece into the soup. Like this. Plop, plop, plop, plop! And every time the duck goes plop you can make a wish for something good.

Step 11: Slice the meat into cubes and drop it into the pot. Finally pour in the beetroot juice with a sanctified air, and at the same time invoke a blessing on the soup from the God of all the Russians.

Step 12: Put a large lump of butter in each mess-tin, and with the mien of an archbishop initiating a line of novice priests, pour the soup over the butter.

Step 13: Sprinkle each helping with chopped kale and pour on sour cream.

Step 14: Dip deep with the ol’ ladle. The best is always at the bottom.

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