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Russian Cuisine
Kidney and pickle soup
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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