If you like thick, spicy, flavorful soups, you’ll love the aromatic experience of kharcho. Although the traditional Georgian recipe is associated with beef – its name translates to “beef soup” – lamb, veal and other types of meat are also used in modern recipes. In addition to the meat component, a spicy and spicy element is created due to the inclusion of tkemali plum or dried dogwood. Pieces of walnuts are added to the broth for added texture and taste. Georgian cuisine tends to add nuts in its recipes, and soup is no exception.
In its original form, fatty bone-in beef was poured into pots of kharcho and left to simmer on the stove for hours. Similar to many other soup recipes, the specific ingredients, spice profile, and thickness of the final product can all vary greatly when enjoying this hearty soup prepared by different Georgian chefs.
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The origins of Kharcho soup
Like many old-fashioned dishes, determining the exact origin of kharcho soup remains a culinary mystery. The term initially referred to a recipe for meat prepared in a walnut sauce. Over time, rice was added to the dish, and then plum sauce became a key part of the meal. Although the recipe evolved to include different ingredients contributed by unique communities, the soup’s beef core, nuts, and tkemali essence have persevered over time.
Depending on where you enjoy kharcho, you may notice regional differences in the flavor of the soup. In some regions, additional spices and herbs are added, tomato sauce may replace real tomatoes, or pomegranate juice may be included in the pan during cooking. Another key regional difference is the inclusion of an herbal mixture known as Svaneti salt, consisting of salt, garlic, and various dried herbs and spices.
How is Kharcho made?
A tangy plum sauce known as tkemali is a key component of the soup. This fruity component is made from plums that have not yet reached full maturity, and the sour taste helps balance the richness of the dish. Cilantro, fenugreek and black pepper bring a warming element to the soup in a mixture known as khmeli suneli.
When cooked with tomatoes, garlic, onion, cumin and bay leaves, this satisfying recipe really delivers. If you are planning to make kharcho at home, be aware that preparing this recipe can take several hours. The beef must be seared before it can be added to the broth, the plum puree must cook for at least an hour after it is added to the broth, then the rest of the ingredients are added to the mixture and left to simmer for a while. minimum an additional hour if not more. It takes a lot of work, but the end product is worth it. When garnished with fresh herbs, tangy and sweet kharcho still delivers in terms of texture and taste.