Saturday, January 31, 2009

Borscht (beet soup)- My version

For all you out there who think you don't like beets... think again. This version of Borscht, and the others I've tried, do not taste like beets at all. Basically it tastes like a yummy vegetable soup with big chunks of potatoes and carrots. The beets really just give it a sweetness you almost miss and a beautiful purple color. Try it and see.

You will need:

  • 6 cups of vegetable broth (chicken if you eat meat)
  • 3 whole fresh beets peeled and cut into tiny pieces (as tiny as you can cut them by hand)- You'll want to do this first because your hands will turn purple, but after you cut them wash your hands and the cutting board and then cutting the rest of the ingredients will basically clean your hands of the stain.
  • 1 green bell pepper chopped
  • 2 stalks of celery chopped
  • 3 medium red potatoes cut into large chunks
  • 2 carrots peeled and chopped (any size you like)
  • 1/2 cup butter/margarine/or vegan substitute
  • 1 sweet onion chopped
  • 1 small head of cabbage shredded (basically 2-4 cups worth)
  • 1 30 ounce can of whole tomatoes squished with your hands (this is very fun and messy and can be substituted with the equal amount of canned diced tomatoes, but the taste will be different)
  • 1/4 bunch of fresh dill (dried works OK, but lacks flavor)
  • salt and pepper to taste

  1. Start out by boiling the broth and adding the beets. You can do this before chopping the rest of your ingredients so the beets will get good and soft. While that is heating go ahead and cut and add all ingredients except the butter, onion, tomatoes and cabbage. Add dill to your preference. My mom and I love dill so the more the better. But my husband and sister only like a little. So start out with a small amount, you can always add more later.
  2. Once you have done all of this melt the butter in your large frying pan. Then add the chopped onions and cook them until they are soft.
  3. Next add the squished tomatoes. Cover and cook on med/low heat for 10 minutes. Make sure you stir once in awhile to keep it from sticking,
  4. Then add the chopped cabbage to the tomato and onion mixture. Keep covered stirring occasionally for 15 minutes or until cabbage is tender.
  5. Finally pour the onions, tomato, and cabbage into the pot with everything else. Boil for another 15+ minutes.

The beauty of this recipe is that you can cook it for a very long time if you start it too early. And you can always refrigerate or freeze it for later and it's just like fresh when you heat it up. Sometimes better. I recommend serving it with sourdough bread on the side. The recipes I see also say to put a dollop of sour cream or yogurt on top... but I'm not too sure.

Happy Cooking!

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