Borscht

So much cabbage....

and so many beets!

The farm share has provided us with a TON of cabbage and beets. While we baked a good amount of beets in an orange glaze and ate them on their own, we still had more than you can imagine left, as well as cabbage, since we don’t cook with it all too often. Due to this, I decided to get in touch with European heritage (and surely the boyfriend’s Ukrainian one as well, as it is a traditional Ukrainian dish) and make borscht. And I made a ton at that, knowing the fall and winter days are ahead, and having soup in the freezer is always a good thing.

Here is the recipe:

  • 3 Large beets (or 6 medium/small)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 large onion, minced
  • 2 small/medium green peppers
  • 4 stalks of celery, diced
  • 4 carrots, diced
  • 4 cups of vegetable broth
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 cup diced tomatoes (you can used canned, I used some from the farm share)
  • 1 head of cabbage, chopped
  • 1/2 cup vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons of salt
  • pinch of pepper
  • pinch of dill
  • hot sauce to taste

First, you see that large dark green pepper in the foreground there? I don’t know what I was thinking but that sucker was HOT. As in, not realizing it, I cut it up and my hands BURNED for hours after. My cuticles were on fire and nothing would make it better. The burning of my hands cued me on to the intensity of it, so shortly after throwing them into the cooking borscht I was fishing them out, as I didn’t want a soup that would be so ungodly spicy. But hey, we all make mistakes.

Anyhow, you want to begin by baking the beets for an hour (or until soft), wrapped in tin foil at 35o degrees. While the temptation may be there to eat them, because who can deny the goodness of warm beets, don’t do it, and instead peel and chop them for the soup.

Then, in a large pot – seriously large though, this makes A LOT – heat the vegetable oil and saute the garlic, followed by the celery, carrots and onion, until they are tender. Then add the beets and saute for another minute.

Following this, you will add the broth, water and tomatoes, followed by the cabbage, vinegar, salt and spices. If you’d like, you could also add a can of beans, but I think the borscht is hearty enough without them. Let the pot simmer for 45 minutes to an hour. It will smell fantastic.

I love the color!

I’ll admit, at first I didn’t really think I would be a fan of borscht. Something about cabbage and beets together in a soup seemed to turn me off. That was before I smelled and tasted this soup. The carrots and celery are perfectly soft, right along with the beets, and even the stock of the soup as well is delicious. As I was placing containers of soup in the freezer for another day, I had warm thoughts of sitting down with this soup, wrapped in a bathrobe after just coming inside from the cold, and it all seemed too right.

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2 Comments »

  1. Tammy McLeod Said:

    That looks great. Moosewood cookbook also has a cabbage and beet spread that you can make that helped when I had too much of both.

    • Awesome, thank you! I love the farm share and the challenge of cooking new things, particularly with vegetables I wouldn’t ordinary buy on my own, but sometimes it is a tad bit overwhelming figuring out how to utilize some of them!


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