Wednesday, December 28, 2005

our favorite borscht (beet soup!)

we call this soup borscht in our house, but i am aware it is not like much of the borscht out there. it is a beef-based soup, and i like to keep in that way, but the vegetarian, vegan, or simply without-beef chef could leave that out.


beef. i used to use a whole tri-tip roast, cut into 1" x 2" strips across the grain. i have been known to substitute just about anything. ground beef to steaks. good, natural beef stock will do. why, just today i made it with soup bones and nothing else.

onions. 3 or 4. red, white, or yellow.

beets. whole, 3 or 4 large ones, more if you're feeling beety. tops on is always best, but it isnt the end of the world if they dont have tops.

root vegetables. carrots, celery root, radishes, parsnips, turnips, potatoes, any and all of these. at least 2 of them.

spices: like salt, pepper and bay leaves. oh wait, that is all you need!

garlic. deserves its own entry. a whole head please. ok if you dont have it or arent a garlic lover, whatever!

extra credit: an apple or pear. have one around? chop her up and drop her in. you'll be amazed!

dressing. sour cream and fresh dill.

making the soup.

brown the beef in a little oil in the bottom of your big soup pot. add onions and garlic, brown. add water or stock (If not using meat you would begin with water and add onions/ garlic to the plain water/ stock.) dump in everything else, peeled (if required) and chopped, even the beet tops. if you have some celery laying around that would be nice. any greens you enjoy will fit well in this soup. (especially the beet tops!)

i want to mention here, based on personal failure, that you really do want to peel your vegetables. most of the root vegetables (turnips, celery root, parsnip, etc) you get in the store have very tough skins that you do not want in your soup! organic carrots, radishes, and potatoes are the only exception.)

boil/ simmer as long as you feel like waiting. all day is fine. i usually cook my soup for 3 hours.

once finished, check spices for salt and so on. pour in bowls, add a generous dollop of sour cream and finish with freshly chopped dill. yum!


Blogger Juddie said...

Oh yum! I come from a russian family but am ashamed to say that I haven't even made my own borscht yet! This looks like a great recipe to try, perfect for chilly winter nights down here in Melbourne. Thanks!

6:58 PM  
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