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This borscht was discribed as "a soup by many names" in the Mennonite Foods and Folkways from South Russia" by Norma Jost Voth. Reading the recipes in this book, one old recipes reads "a grocery sackful of greens", so the amount of greens in this soup may vary. I grew up in a mennonite home but I can't remember ever having this soup. It was later on in life after moving to Winnipeg I got to taste this soup and thought it rather interesting. I mentioned it to Dad one day and he explained -"Weed Soup?!" I guess that is why we never had it at home. Sorrel is used in this soup. It is classified as a wild herb, a perennial herb of the buckwheat family. It gives a sour taste, so added to a soup gives it a distinct, tangy flavor. This soup is good served hot, with a heaping tablespoon of sour cream and a freshly baked slice of brown bread.
- To the water in a large soup pot, add the farmer sausage and cook for about 1 hour: this makes your soup stock.
- Remove the pieces of sausage and let cool, then remove the casing and cut up into bit size pieces.
- Add potatoes, onion greens, dill green, parsley, sorrel, bay leaf and peppercorns (in a spice bag or container) to the stock.
- Cook this until potatoes are done.
- Add the farmer sausage pieces back into the soup.
- Add salt to taste.
- Serve hot with heaping tablespoon of sour cream in each serving.
- Good served with fresh homemade brown bread.
- The farmer sausage can be substituted with a smoked ham hock.
Perfect! Exactly as my mother-in-law makes it, but with actual measurements, instead of "a little of this, a little of that"! Sorrel is essential for the classic sour taste, but you could also substitute other greens (i.e. spinach, beet tops, dandelion greens), and then add a splash of vinegar if sorrel unavailable.
Fantastic recipe. Works well with substitutions.