Hot Beet Soup with Pork Belly (Bi­etes Zupa)

SERVES 8–10

SAVEUR - - Contents -

Ac­tive: 1 hr. 30 min. • To­tal: 4 hr. 15 min.

The rich, beet­infused pork broth of this soup is briny, with tangy veg­eta­bles float­ing through­out. For the fullest fla­vor, mar­i­nate the beets in the vinai­grette well ahead of time.

1 lb. skinned pork belly 2 Tbsp. kosher salt, di­vided, plus more to taste 1 lb. meaty pork bones (such as neck or hock) 3 bay leaves 1½ lb. red beets (2 large) 1 tsp. su­gar 6 Tbsp. white or cider vine­gar, di­vided ¼ tsp. freshly ground black pep­per 1 lb. Yukon Gold pota­toes (2 large) 2 Tbsp. un­salted but­ter 3 gar­lic cloves, minced 2 cups coarsely grated car­rot (from about 4 large, peeled car­rots) ½ cup sliced chives ¼ cup chopped fresh dill 4 peeled, chopped hard­boiled eggs, for top­ping (op­tional)

1 Rub the pork belly with 1 ta­ble­spoon of salt and set aside for at least an hour or up to overnight.

2 Cut the salted pork into 1-inch lar­dons, each ½-inch thick.

3 In a large stock­pot, com­bine the pork bones and 10 cups cold wa­ter; bring to a boil over high heat. Skim and dis­card any foam, then add the bay leaves and 2 tea­spoons kosher salt. Lower the heat to main­tain a strong sim­mer, and cook for 1 hour. Add the lar­dons and cook un­til the belly pieces are ten­der, about 1 hour more.

4 Mean­while, cook the beets: In a medium pot, add the beets and enough wa­ter to cover by 2 inches. Bring to a boil over high heat, then add 1 tea­spoon salt and lower the heat to main­tain a sim­mer. Cook un­til the beets are ten­der when poked with a knife, 60–70 min­utes. Re­move the beets, re­serv­ing the cook­ing liq­uid, and let cool slightly. Use a par­ing knife to peel and cut each into ¾-inch cubes.

5 Transfer the chopped beets to a medium bowl and add the su­gar, 3 ta­ble­spoons vine­gar, and 1 cup of the beet cook­ing liq­uid; sea­son with salt and pep­per and set aside to mar­i­nate.

6 Peel and dice the pota­toes and add to the pork broth. Cook un­til just ten­der, about 20 min­utes.

7 In a large skil­let set over medium heat, melt the but­ter. When the foam sub­sides, add the gar­lic and cook for 1 minute, then add the car­rots and cook, stir­ring oc­ca­sion­ally, un­til ten­der, 5–7 min­utes.

8 Transfer the car­rots along with the beets and their mar­i­nat­ing liq­uid to the broth. Cook for 10 min­utes to meld the fla­vors, then sea­son to taste with salt, black pep­per, and up to 3 ta­ble­spoons more vine­gar; the soup should have a sweet-sour fla­vor.

9 Di­vide among 8–10 bowls, and top with the chives, dill, and chopped hard­boiled egg, if us­ing. Serve hot.

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