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This truly outstanding soup can singlehandedly help you prepare for or recover from a blizzard, a grueling journey, any challenge you can imagine--it is that rich and robust. It has an unusual number of herbs and flavorings; these create an exotic but not offputting taste and texture. I recommend it highly. Serve hot as a meal to 6-8 people.
- 1 1⁄2 lbs boneless lean beef
- 8 cups beef stock
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 2 onions, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 (16 ounce) can tomatoes, seeded and chopped
- 1⁄4 cup rice
- 1⁄2 teaspoon dried tarragon
- 1⁄4 teaspoon dried mint
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons sweet Hungarian paprika
- 1⁄2 teaspoon hot pepper flakes
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1⁄4 teaspoon ground fenugreek (in a pinch, use curry powder)
- 2 teaspoons tamarind paste, diluted in hot stock (can substitute 4 Tablespoons of lemon juice)
- 3 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
- 1⁄4 cup walnut pieces, crushed
- 1⁄4 cup chopped fresh herb (, any mixture of tarragon, cilantro, basil, parsley, mint, or dill)
- 3⁄4 cup chopped fresh herb (, any mixture of tarragon, cilantro, basil, parsley, mint, or dill)
- Bring the meat, in one big piece, to a boil in the stock.
- Skim off the foam as necessary.
- Reduce heat and simmer, partly covered, for about 1½ hours.
- Remove and reserve the meat.
- When the meat has been cooking for an hour or so, melt the butter in a Dutch oven over medium heat, and stir in the onions.
- Fry for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft and colored.
- Stir in the flour and cook, stirring, for about a minute.
- Add 1/2 cup stock and stir until smooth.
- Stir in the tomato paste and the tomatoes.
- Whisk in the rest of the stock, add the rice, and simmer, covered, for about 10 minutes.
- Add all the rest of the ingredients, except for the fresh herbs, and simmer them until the rice is tender--another 10 to 15 minutes.
- At this point, you can cut the meat into bite-sized pieces.
- When ready to serve, remove the soup from the heat, stir in the meat pieces and the 1/4 cup of fresh chopped herbs, cover, and let sit for 10 minutes.
- Stir in the remaining herbs and ladle into bowls.
- Serve with hearty bread and butter and a good Georgian red wine.