Thursday, February 13, 2014

Hearty Red Soup: Borscht (Recipe)

(A guest post! Yay!  Oh, you thought I made this recipe? No, that would be my husband...)

Borscht.  By Daniel Griffin.

As we approach Valentine's Day, I wanted to share a hearty red recipe (get it?) that also coincides with what is seasonally available from our little neighborhood organic farm, especially the delicious beets. And after all, mass-produced heart-shaped candies and early church martyrs aside, nothing says LOVE quite like beets do.

It is a little known fact that the four horsemen of the soup apocalypse are: Pozole, Avgolemono, Mulligatawny, and Borscht. Yes, Borscht, the high Eastern European lord of soups.

Before I list the recipe that a few of you may be adventurous enough to try: know this, Borscht recipes vary greatly. In the websites I surveyed when I started developing my own take, the common discussion centers around what is or is not "traditional."  I, on the other hand, just want what is delicious. Also, many Borscht recipes include meat, which mine does not.  You'll find a lot of similarities if you look up other Borscht Recipes, particularly between mine and the one in Moosewood.  But this is how I like it the best.  

Know this too, this soup is very very good for you.

For your taste buds' sake, hopefully I haven't already lost you with my odious preface.  Happy Cooking!


4 cups chicken broth/stock (or vegetable stock if you prefer)
1 farm stand bunch of beets, diced and peeled (about 2 cups)
1 Yukon gold potato, diced (approximately 1.5 cups)
2 Tbsp butter
1 yellow onion, chopped (about 1.5 cups)
1-2 tsp salt
1 tsp caraway seeds
2 large carrots, peeled and cut
1 stalk celery, cut
3 cups red cabbage, chopped
1 -2 tomatoes, chopped
1 Tbsp cider vinegar
a bunch of chopped fresh dill (I like a lot, maybe 3 Tbsp)
black pepper to taste

Garnish for each bowl:
sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
fresh dill
squeezed lemon wedge on top
salt and pepper to taste


In a large pot, bring broth, beets, and potatoes to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer until tender, about 15 minutes. Reserving the stock, drain beets and potatoes into a side bowl and set both aside.

In the same pot, heat butter over medium heat. Add onions, caraway seeds and 1 tsp salt, and sauté until the onion is translucent, about 3-4 minutes. Add carrot, celery, cabbage, and reserved vegetable stock. Cover and simmer until all the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes.

Stir in potatoes, beets, and all remaining ingredients. Cover and simmer on low heat for 30 minutes.

Puree contents of pot in blender (working in small batches at a time depending on size of your blender). I very much prefer this texture, specifically with this soup, but if you prefer a chunkier stew-like texture, skip this step. Return to pot and continue to simmer.

Serve immediately, topped with the garnishes listed to your liking.

Listen to your body say "thank you," and Happy Valentine's Day!

Oh, and please show your Valentine's Day Love by clicking over to Top Baby Blogs and voting for my wife.

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