Before we start, Let me tell you guys why I decided to make borscht in the first place. John recently went to Poland and visited with family over there. Being the food lover that I am, I didn't ask how his family was, or what he saw there, all I asked about was borscht. What is it like? Do you like it? Are there a million different types? When he got back, I begged him for a secret family borscht recipe. After a few months, he finally emailed his cousin for the recipe. a few weeks later she got back to him with what seemed like a very simple beet broth recipe. The borscht John had described had lots of "chunks" and very little broth! I googled a sentence from the recipe and found that it was copy-pasted from the BBC website, and one of the first google results for borscht. We got scammed! I suppose they didn't want to give away family secrets to the world. I was so excited to try borscht that I decided to research it a bit and wing a recipe. John said it tasted nothing like the borscht he had in Poland, but that's cause you didn't get me the damn recipe John! I don't claim this to be authentic, because I have never tasted borscht before and made up this recipe. I DO however claim it to be delicious.
I started by making a vegetable stock similar to the one in the BBC recipe. Pretty standard stock, plus a lot of beets.
Red and delicious.
Most borscht recipes involve simmering the veggies in the stock for awhile. I wanted the flavors to be focused and distinct, not all muddled together, so i decided to roast them in small cubes and add to the soup at the last minute.
The beet leaves were very fresh, so I added them to the soup. Soooooo beeety. The soup had beets 4 ways! Simmered in the stock, roasted, raw, and leaves.
The roasted veg.
Making it rain... Rain beet leaves. About 10 minutes BEFORE this picture, I added shredded red cabbage.
Here is the raw beet element I mentioned before. Add this at the last minute to boost the color and beet flavor. I also added red wine vinegar at this point.
Yum. A little dill and sour cream on top.
Beets are soo sweet. the sweetness came through in this soup big time. It was balanced though with salt and vinegar.
So as I said, this probably isn't authentic, but it is the recipe I came up with and it was tasty. I like the fact that there are 4 different beet preparations in the soup. Roasting the veg was nice to keep the flavors distinct. The funny thing was, the next day I went to have the soup for lunch and I hated it! I added an extra scoop of sour cream and threw the whole thing in the blender and it tasted fantastic again! I wish I had a picture of that.
First make a stock with 3 beets, a head of garlic, 3 onions, 5 ribs of celery, 5 carrots, and enough water to cover. Strain and set aside. Next roast at 400 degrees until tender - 1 potato, 2 beets and 3 carrots, chopped into half inch cubes, salted, and olive oiled. Shred up some cabbage and beet greens, and dice an onion and 2 ribs of celery. In a pot of hot olive oil, add the onions and celery and saute for 5 minutes. Add the red stock. Add the cabbage and simmer 20 minutes. Add the beet greens. Add the roasted veg. Bring to a simmer. Shut off the heat and add about 1/4 cup vinegar and one raw grated beet. Serve and garnish with sour cream and dill.