A few weeks ago I had no clue what to make for supper. Having done a sparse shopping the week before and all I had left was some cabbage, beets, potatoes, carrots and onions. I voiced my uncertainty over dinner to a friend and she pointed out the obvious- why not make borsh?
Borscht is a delicious soup with so many varieties. I had been familiar with the clear sweet and sour beet soup served with sour cream but not with the hot Ukranian borsht until my friend clued me in. Ukranian borsht calls for all the vegetables I had in my house and is a hearty, delicious and filling meal, perfect for a winter day. This recipe calls for vegetables that are winter crops as well as being long lasting. I would not be surprised if once upon a time in Russia a housewife looked in her pantry and saw only these vegetables and concocted a meal suitable for the coldest of Russian winters.
To make borsht, you will need:
3 cups of the Sauerkraut you already made, or 3 cups of grated/chopped cabbage
1 large beet
8 small potatoes or 4 large ones
1 medium onion
3 medium carrots
2 cups cooked kidney beans
Broth (chicken/beef/vegetable) (optional)
Beef chunks (optional)
Chop the onion, carrots, and potatoes and add them to the crock pot.
Add 2 cups of cooked kidney beans (see here for instructions on how to cook, or just use canned beans) and 3 cups of sauerkraut (or cabbage) to the crock pot.
Peel the beets and chop them into very small pieces.
Saute the beets in the healthiest fat you have and then put them in your crock pot.
Add broth or water until the veggies and beans are covered with an additional inch of liquid on top. If desired, add some chunks of beef to cook with the borscht.
Cook on high until boiling and then on low until all the vegetables are soft.
When it is fully cooked, add some lemon juice and salt. (If you used cabbage instead of sauerkraut you will need more lemon juice.) You may also want to add the sweetener of your choice.
You have to do this last step to taste- the soup is supposed to be semi sweet with just a hint of tartness.
This soup is great either hot or room temperature.
Do you ever make borsht? What is in yours?