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Dinner & A Book

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The Bread and the Knife

Aired on February 06, 2021

Recipe for Christine’s White Borscht


  • 4 cups of water
  • v2 pounds sauerkraut (not canned), not drained
  • 2 or 3 chicken legs
  • 3 small bay leaves
  • 4 medium celery ribs
  • 2 medium carrots
  • 2 large leeks, white part only
  • 2 tsp whole allspice
  • 2 quarts water
  • Coarse sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tsp dried marjoram
  • 4 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • ½ to ¾ pound kielbasa, sliced, at room temperature

For the garnish:

  • 6 medium boiled potatoes
  • 3 hard-cooked eggs, cut into halves


  1. In a 2-3 quart saucepan, bring the 4 cups of water to a boil. Add the sauerkraut and simmer, partially covered, for about 30 minutes.
  2. Strain the liquid while it is hot and reserve. There should be about 5 cups. (The suarkraut can be discarded; its flavor is must diminished.)
  3. While preparing the sauerkraut stock, make the chicken broth: in a 3-5 quart saucepan, combine the chicken, bay leaves, celery, carrots, leeks, allspice, and 2 quarts of fresh cold water. Bring to a brisk simmer over high heat, reduce heart, partially cover, and let it simmer steadily for 1 ½ hours.
  4. Strain the chicken broth and reserve. There should be about 4 cups; if not, add a little water.
  5. In a 4-6 quart pot, combine the 4 cups chicken broth with 4 cups of sauerkraut stock. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and bring to a boil. Add the marjoram.
  6. In a small bowl, mix the cornstarch with the remaining cup of sauerkraut stock. Whisk into the briskly boiling soup and cook for 1 minute, stirring slowly. This will not perceptibly thicken the soup, but it will bind it.
  7. Turn off the heat and stir in the heavy cream
  8. To serve, place several rounds of kielbasa, a boiled potato, and half an egg into each wide, deep bowl. Ladle on the hot soup.

Serves: 6
Advance preparation: Can be kept refrigerated for up to a week (don’t worry if it separates); it freezes perfectly. Reheat to a simmer before serving

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