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1 pound veal or beef kidneys, or 1 pound chicken giblets
1 carrot
1 parsley root
2 ounces celery root
1 onion
1 teaspoon salt plus additional salt to taste
6 whole black peppercorns, tied in a cheesecloth bag with 2 bay leaves
3 potatoes
3 tablespoons long-grain rice
3 delicatessen sour pickles, coarsely grated
6 teaspoons sour cream
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh tarragon or parsley

To prepare the kidneys, remove their fat and membrane, cut in half, cover with cold water, and let soak for 6 hours, changing the water every 2 hours. Discard the last water. While the kidneys are soaking, cut the carrot, parsley and celery roots, and onion into julienne strips. In a 4-quart pot, bring 2 quarts of water to a boil. Add the kidneys (or the giblets, if you are using them), julienned vegetables, 1 teaspoon salt, and the peppercorns and bay leaves, and bring to a boil again. Lower the heat and simmer, partially covered, for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, peel the potatoes and cut into 1- inch cubes. Strain the stock, discarding the vegetables. Cut the kidneys into Y4-inch slices and return to the stock, adding the potatoes and rice. Cook slowly, partially covered, for 20 minutes, then add the pickles and simmer 5 minutes more. Turn off the heat, cover completely, and allow the flavors to mingle for 5 minutes. Blend the sour cream with 1 cup of soup and stir it back into the pot, then taste for seasoning. Serve in a warmed tureen, sprinkled with tarragon.

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  Rassolnik (Soup with Pickled Cucumbers)


Beef (with or without bones) - 0.7 lbs. (320 g)
potatoes - 0.5 lbs. (200 g)
rice - 0.1 lbs. (50 g)
parsley - 0.7 ounces (20 g)
carrots - 0.1 lbs. (50 g)
onions - 2, small size
pickled cucumbers - 0.1 lbs. (50 g)
tomato - 1
sour cream - 1 tablespoon.

Preparing meat broth: Put beef into a large saucepan and cover with 1.2 gallons (4.5 l.) cold water. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Remove the grease and froth from the broth surface with a spoon. Add one onion. Cook at low heat for 1-2 hours. If beef is with bones, filter the broth. Pan-frying vegetables: Melt one tablespoon margarine in a frying pan. Add chopped onions, carrots and parsley cut into sticks. Cover and saute at low heat for 15 minutes stirring occasionally. Add chopped tomato and saute for another 5 minutes. Simmering pickled cucumbers: Put chopped pickled cucumbers into a saucepan. Add meat broth covering cucumbers. Cover with lid and simmer at low heat for 15-20 minutes. Add rice to boiling meat broth. Bring to a boil. Add potatoes cut into bars and sauteed vegetables. Boil for 10-15 minutes. Add simmered pickled cucumbers and boil for another 5 minutes. Salt can be added by taste. Served with sour cream. Servings: 3-4.

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