Borscht: A Russian/East EuropeanTradition

Have you ever felt mesmerized by something and yet never been able to actually translate that fascination into action. For me it happens so very often, simply b’coz I am such a lazy  bum, I keep on adding stuff onto my to-do lists but get around to it way later than you would appreciate me for. Borscht soup is a classic example of my procastination in cooking. I am so enamored by baking that it takes precedence over most of the things, beets especially :). So it took me a long while to come around buying beets and making this Russian/East European classic. As you can expect from a classic, Borscht has as many variations as people making it but the core always remains the same. It can be eaten cold or hot  though I strongly prefer the hot version. My first two forays into Russian food ended in a whimper when the restaurant I went to turned out closed, (both the times, can you believe it). So  I gave up and decided to do the honors myself. It’s a great looking dish that goes very well with some sourdough/ciabatta bread. Plus it is super healthy thanks to the good stuff that goes into it. Oh, and don’t forget your copy of Anna Karenina to go with it 🙂

Borscht Soup

Borscht Soup : Serves 4-6

1 tbsp butter
1 large yellow onion, cut into 8-10 chunks
1 large Russet potato, cubed into 1/2″ chunks
1 large celery stalk
2 medium carrots, chopped into 1/2″ chunks
1 cup sliced cabbage
1 bay leaf
1 tbsp tomato puree (or use 2 tbsp tomato sauce if you don’t have puree)
4 cups of water/chicken broth
2 large beetroots, cleaned, peeled and cut into 1/2″ chunks
1 tsp sugar
Salt and Pepper to taste
Sour Cream, Dill and crackers/bread to top and serve with (optional)
1. In a stockpot or saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and saute for 2 mins. Then add the potato, carrots, celery, cabbage and bay leaf and saute for another 3-4 mins. Now add the tomatoes and cook for another minute or two.
2. Add the chicken stock to the sauteed vegetables and bring it to a boil. Let it boil for around 8-10 mins.
3. Now add the beets and sugar to the pan and boil for another 10 mins.
4. Add ther salt and pepper, checking for taste, and let the whole thing simmer for another 2 mins.
5. At this point you have two options:
 a) Puree the soup in a blender. Serve with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkling of dill weed on it.
 b) Ladle the soup into bowls and serve with sour cream and dill weed on top. This is what I opted to do since I like vegetable chunks in my soup.

Enjoy with crackers ( or if you are like me, you will grab the leftover bread and dunk in the soup) 🙂

This entry was posted in European, Recipes, Soups, stews & stoups. Bookmark the permalink.

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