Prep 15 mins
Cook 3 hrs
The idea and most of the directions come from a Russian cookbook. This is a variation on the green schi, a green meat-based soup served with half a hard-boiled egg in the bowl. It is great when made with sorrel (and can be made with a jar of schav), but, lacking that, some spinach and some lemon juice will do. The original recipe calls for an unspecified cut of beef, but I like it with beef heart, the silken texture of which matches the green soup perfectly.
For the soup
- 3 lbs beef heart (or just beef)
- 12 cups water
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 (10 ounce) packages frozen chopped spinach (or 2 bunches fresh sorrel, chopped, or 2 jars schav, or some combination of these)
- 1 lemon, juice of (less, if using sorrel instead of spinach)
- 2 onions, chopped
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 4 tablespoons flour
- 6 eggs, hard-boiled
- 1 bunch scallion, chopped
- 12 tablespoons parsley, chopped (optional)
- Cut away as much fat and tough-looking parts from the meat as you can.
- Optionally, quickly brown the meat. You can add a piece or two of onion, while browning, to improve the flavor.
- Add the water and bring to the boil. Skim foam. Lower the heat, add the bay leaves, and simmer for 2-3 hours (or until the meat is tender when pierced).
- While the meat is cooking, heat the oil in a skillet. Add the onions and cook until golden and just beginning to turn brown.
- Add the flour to the onions and cook, stirring, until the onions are coated, and the flour is beginning to brown. Take off the heat.
- When the meat is done, take it out, cut it into bite-size pieces, and put back into the soup.
- Add the frozen spinach to the soup and raise heat to high. Heat to boiling, while breaking up the spinach. Lower the heat to a simmer and cook until the spinach is separated, 3-5 minutes.
- Add lemon juice and salt to taste. The soup should be slightly sour.
- Add the fried onions to the soup. Cook 1 minute.
- Pour the soup into bowls. Put into every bowl some chopped scallions (and some chopped parsley, if using) and half a boiled egg.
- Some people like to add sour cream or plain yogurt.