The taste of the mountains … Soup Kharcho

This is one of my favorite soups. It is hearty, spicy and satisfying.

I have been wanting to make it for a long time and finally gave it a shot.


The recipe that was used provided for beef, however I do like it with lamb and next time will try that. Also, there was a bit too much tomato in the flavor so I might need to use less tomato sauce and more real tomatoes.

Here is the recipe:

1 1/2 lbs boneless lean beef
8 cups beef stock (we used half beef stock and half water)
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)

1 Bring the meat, in one big piece, to a boil in the stock.
2 Skim off the foam as necessary.
3 Reduce heat and simmer, partly covered, for about 1½ hours.
4 Remove and reserve the meat.
5 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.
6 Fry for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft and colored.
7 Stir in the flour and cook, stirring, for about a minute.
8 Add 1/2 cup stock and stir until smooth.
9 Stir in the tomato paste and the tomatoes.
10 Whisk in the rest of the stock, add the rice, and simmer, covered, for about 10 minutes.
11 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.
12 At this point, you can cut the meat into bite-sized pieces.
13 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.
14 Stir in the remaining herbs and ladle into bowls.
15 Serve with hearty bread and butter and a good Georgian red wine.

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