borscht: by J

I love borscht. The rich earthy comfort. How it is better leftover as the flavors meld and mellow.

And of course it goes amazingly well with perogies blanketed in fried bacon and onions.

Ingredients:

  1. 3-4 beets (beet tops optional)
  2. 1/2 a green cabbage
  3. 5-6 small potatoes
  4. 2 carrots
  5. 1 parsnip
  6. can of peeled tomatoes, or 2 cups of tomato sauce
  7. 3 cups of stock (chicken, vegetable, or beef will work)
  8. 1 yellow onion
  9. 2 garlic cloves
  10. large bunch of dill
  11. 1 tsp of dried oregano
  12. 1 lb of cubed stew beef (optional)
  13. optional: red wine vinegar, non-fat greek yogurt or sour cream

Take the beef out of the fridge and allow it to come to room temperature. Season liberally with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tbsps of oil on high in a heavy bottomed french oven or something that has a tight fitting lid. Once the oil is hot brown the beef. Once browned add a diced onion, the two cloves of garlic chopped and the oregano. Once the onions start to brown add the tomatoes with juice and the stock.

Make sure the beef is submerged and braise on low covered for 3 hours until the beef is tender. Remove the beef from the pot and set aside to cool. Skim off extra fat from the stock as this will be the base of the soup.

Peel the beets, carrots, parsnip, and dice along with the potatoes, beet greens and cabbage into roughly 1/4 inch cubes, chop the dill, and add them to the stock. I add the potatoes, parsnip, beets, and carrots first and cook for 10 minutes before adding the remaining ingredients. Cook at a gentle boil for 45 minutes to an hour until tender.

While the vegetables are cooking, remove the fat from the beef and shred, re-season with salt and pepper, and add into the soup. When cooked season with salt and pepper to taste.

To serve add freshly chopped dill, and optionally a dollop of sour cream or non-fat greek yogurt, and a touch of red wine vinegar. If you want a creamier broth feel free to blend a cup of the soup with the beef removed and mix back into the soup.

It freezes really well, and the vegetarian version is just as delicious and a lot faster to make.

xo J

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