Thursday, 1 October 2015

Chunky Borscht or Eastern European Vegetable Soup with Beetroot

I love Borscht.  My mum used to make it in the summer for as long as I remember, liquidising it as directed by her 1960s Kenwood Chef booklet.  I thought it was the only way to have it, until in my early 20s, once only, I had a chunky version made by a friend's mum back from Poland.

I had tried googling the recipe in recent years but was overwhelmed by the amount of borscht recipes out there.  That was until I watched the Hairy Bikers make their version in their 'Hairy Biker's Northern Exposure' series.  With beetroot fresh from my new allotment, I made this for the first time last night.  It made exactly 4x500ml pots which have been labelled and taken down to Alresford Country Market this, so other than licking out the pan I had any of this long awaited soup.  So I am hoping that beetroot is not to everyone's taste, and at least one pot does not sell.

1 tbsp vegetable oil
15g/½oz butter (didn't use any)
1 large carrot, diced
1 celery stick, diced
1 onion, finely chopped
3 medium sized beetroots (around 450g/1lb unpeeled weight), peeled and diced (I used 2 small ones, grated, and still the soup is a wonderful rich reddy purple)
1 large waxy potato, diced (I grated a value white potato)
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1½ litres/2½ pints good quality beef stock (I only used 1 litre made with beef stock cubes as i was adding tinned tomatoes)
½ purple cabbage, finely shredded (used 4 large leaves of a green cabbage)
2 tomatoes, skinned, cored and chopped (used 1 tin of chopped tomatoes)
salt and freshly ground black pepper

To serve (Nope, don't have any of this to hand!)
sour cream
1 tbsp finely chopped dill

Soften the onion, carrot, & celery in the oil/butter in a large saucepan for a few minutes.  Add the potato & garlic and fry for a few more minutes.  The Hairy Bikers added their beetroot at this stage but I decided to add my raw grated beetroot later just in case it lost it's colour. Instead I added the tomatoes which they added later.

Add the stock and simmer for 15 minutes, then add the cabbage and beetroot and simmer for another 15 minutes until the vegetables are tender.  Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve with sour cream and dill if you have it.  If I have any soup left to try I might try Greek Yoghurt...
Instagram: sunhillmakesbakes 

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