RECIPIE: Kharcho

Kharcho (Georgian Soup with Herbs & Walnuts)

Serves 6 – 8

2 Lbs. of lean Beef or Lamb ~ Cut into 1/2 -inch cubes
2 Quarts of Beef, Chicken, or Vegetable Stock
2 Tsp. Khmeli Suneli
2 Bay leaves
2 Sprigs of parsley
1/4 Tsp. of Black Peppercorns
3 Large Onions ~ Peeled
2 Tbsp. of butter
1/4 Cup of uncooked rice
1 1/2 Tsp. Sea Salt
2 Oz. Dried Apricots
1/4 Cup of boiling water
1 Cup Walnuts
3 Tbsp. Lemon juice
2 Garlic cloves ~ Peeled and minced
1/ 2 Tsp. of Cayenne
1/ 2 Tsp of Paprika
3 Tbsp. Minced fresh herbs (Cilantro, Parsley and Dill)
1/2 Tsp Freshly Ground Pepper

In a large pot bring the stock to a boil, add the bay leaves, parsley, peppercorns, and meat and simmer for 1 1/2 hours. Strain, reserving the meat.  Return the broth to boil, add the rice and simmer for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, finely chop the onions and cook in butter until soft but not brown. Add them to the soup along with salt. Cook 10 minutes more, or until the rice is done.  Pour boiling water over the apricots and allow to sit until cool.  Puree the apricots with their water and the walnuts.  (Use additional water if necessary to make a smooth paste.  Add the lemon juice.  Return the meat to the pot.  Stir in the freshly ground pepper, garlic, cayenne, paprika, Khmeli Suneli and apricot puree.  Simmer for 20 minutes more.  Stir in the fresh herbs and let the soup stand for 5 minutes before serving.

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