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 (link at the bottom of this post) 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 (if OK to serve milk with meat).