Believed to originate from the Ukraine, Borscht (also known as Borsch) is a popular soup in many Eastern and Central European countries. Beetroot is the main ingredient, and the beet is what gives the soup its vibrant blood-red color. This soup is eaten cold or warm (I prefer it super toasty warm on a cold day). Cider vinegar or kvass (a sour, slightly alcoholic beer) is often added to the soup to neutralize the sweet beet taste, and in the Ukraine, beef is usually included with this soup; however, the root vegetables are the main ingredients.
Garnish this soup with sour cream, fresh dill weed, or chopped mushrooms.
Hearty Red Beet Soup: Borscht Recipe
4 cups chicken broth/stock (vegetable stock if you prefer)
1 farm stand bunch of beets, diced and peeled (about 2 cups)
1 Yukon gold potato, diced (approximately 1.5 cups)
2 Tbsp butter
1 yellow onion, chopped (about 1.5 cups)
1-2 tsp salt
1 tsp caraway seeds
2 large carrots, peeled and cut
1 stalk celery, cut
3 cups red cabbage, chopped
1 -2 tomatoes, chopped
1 Tbsp cider vinegar
a bunch of chopped fresh dill (I like a lot, maybe 3 Tbsp)
black pepper to taste
Optional Garnish Ingredients: sour cream or plain Greek yogurt, fresh dill, squeezed lemon wedge on top, salt and pepper to taste
1. In a large pot, bring broth, beets, and potatoes to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer until tender, about 15 minutes. Reserving the stock, drain beets and potatoes into a side bowl and set both aside.
2. In the same pot, heat butter over medium heat. Add onions, caraway seeds and 1 tsp salt, and sauté until the onion is translucent, about 3-4 minutes. Add carrot, celery, cabbage, and reserved vegetable stock. Cover and simmer until all the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes.
3. Stir in potatoes, beets, and all remaining ingredients. Cover and simmer on low heat for 30 minutes.
4. Puree contents of pot in blender or food processor, working in small batches at a time depending on size of your blender or food processor. If you prefer a chunkier stew-like texture, skip this step. Return to pot and continue to simmer.
5. Serve immediately, topped with the garnishes to your liking.
Recipe adapted from becomingjuliegriffin.com