Making so many new recipes certainly does have its advantages. Back a few years, Laura and I were sort of stuck in a rut. At the worst possible moment, usually around 10pm or later, one of us would ask, “What’s for dinner?” By that time, neither of us had any ambition whatsoever and there have been times when we just went to bed without eating. I dislike those nights very much and since I began this blog, we haven’t had one of them.
Another really big perk is that I get to learn about all sorts of new foods. Let’s take today’s Borscht as an example. At no point in my life have I ever heard of this type of soup. Perhaps someone told me at some time, but I was either not listening or I simply didn’t care. Today, since I’m preparing recipes left and right, I need to know what I’m eating.
This is what Borscht is:
Borscht is a sour soup popular in several Eastern European cuisines, including Ukrainian, Russian, Polish, Belarusian, Lithuanian, Romanian, and Ashkenazi Jewish cuisines. The variety most commonly associated with the name in English is of Ukrainian origin and includes beetroots as one of the main ingredients, which gives the dish a distinctive red color. It shares the name, however, with a wide selection of sour-tasting soups without beetroots, such as sorrel-based green borscht, rye-based white borscht and cabbage borscht.
To me, that sounds pretty cool. I’ve become a huge fan of Ukranian and Russian dishes over the past few years and I’m happy to know that I’m partaking is some of the heritage of these regions.
Today’s recipe is quite straightforward. I actually thought it was going to be much more involved, but after reading through the instructions once or twice, I was comfortable with what I needed to do.
At its core, this is a vegetable soup. There’s broth, carrots, celery, beets and a few others that are softened and simmered to form some mighty fine flavor. Then, a sauce is prepared and when everything is finished, the soup is scooped into a bowl and then a small amount of sauce is placed at its center. I really enjoyed the flavors and textures of this soup and the dollop of sour cream infused with dill and horseradish topped the cake. That was tasty, to say the least.
Since this dish is really easy to make, makes a large quantity, tastes great and is inexpensive, it may become a staple around here. It’s dishes like this that go on my “list.”
For the Soup
6 Beets with Greens
1 Tablespoon Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
6 Cups Vegetable Broth
1/4 Cup Tomato Sauce
2 Celery Stalks, Sliced
2 Carrots, Trimmed, Peeled and Grated
1 Sweet Onion, Chopped
3 Yukon Gold Potatoes, Cut into 1/2 Inch Pieces
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1/2 Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
For the Sauce
1/2 Cup Sour Cream
1/2 Teaspoon Dried Dill
1/2 Teaspoon Horseradish
I’d like to thank William-Sonoma for their cookbook called Vegetarian For All Seasons. We pulled this recipe from it and I simply love it. Another perfect recipe from a fantastic resource.
Pre-Heat the Oven
Arrange your oven racks so one of them is in the center position. Then, turn the heat on to 400 degrees.
Prep & Cook the Beets
First, scrub the beets so they are clean. Then, rinse the greens under running water to remove any grit and sand. Cut the greens from the root and trim the root thoroughly. Then, cut the root into quarters and add the pieces to a medium sized bowl. Add the olive oil to the bowl and mix everything until the beet pieces are coated thoroughly with the oil.
Once the beet roots are oiled, place them on a baking sheet and then put the sheet into the oven when it’s to temperature. Cook the beets at 400 for 30 minutes to soften them.
While the beets are lightly roasting, trim the leaves from the beet stems and then cut the stems into 2 inch pieces. Place them in a bowl to use later.
Prep the Vegetables
Cut the celery, grate the carrots, chop the onion and cut up the potatoes. By the way, if you like sweet potato, I can’t seem to think of any reason you can’t use them in this recipe instead of the Yukon Golds.
Prepare the Soup
Warm a large pot over medium heat. Then, add the broth to the pot. Also add the tomato sauce and celery and let the liquid come to a simmer.
Next, add in the carrots, onion and potato pieces. Stir and continue to simmer.
Continue to simmer the liquid, with the pot uncovered, for 20 minutes. During this time, all the vegetables should become soft.
Add the Beets
When the beets are finished in the oven and after the 20 minutes of simmering has passed, add the beets, beet greens, salt and pepper to the pot. Stir and let everything simmer for another 10 minutes.
Prepare the Sauce
In a medium sized bowl, combine the sour cream, dill and the horseradish. Mix these ingredients together well.
Plate & Serve
Divide the Borscht between 8 bowls. Then, add a dollop of sour cream sauce to the center of each bowl and serve hot.
The Final Borscht
I told you this was easy. The most effort was put forth in the area of prep. Once that’s finished, it’s basically adding things to a pot and waiting for them to cook. Give this recipe a try and let me know what you think. Thanks for reading!