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Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Babushka Shura's Borscht Recipe

Serving suggestion - with sour cream or natural yoghurt
I think there is a misconception that Borscht is a difficult dish to make. I know I certainly thought so until my Dad showed me the recipe which was adapted by my Babushka (Grandma) to be as simple as possible, using the same ingredients as in the conventional recipe but with minimal effort.

The key to a tasty Borscht, as Babushka suggested, is ALL in the stock. There are lots of simple stock recipes out there, but basically you can boil some chicken wings or osso buco (any meat with bone) until the meat it tender (making sure you skim as you go). However, if you just don't have time to make stock, then I would suggest buying some pre-made. 

This recipe is based on approximately 5 Litres of stock (a big pot!)

To start with, drop a few bay leaves in the stock, Leave to simmer on a low heat while you prepare the rest of the ingredients. Season with salt and pepper
The stock with bay leaves
The main ingredients are (as seen above):
  • 1/4 Cabbage
  • 3 potatoes (any)
  • 1 brown onion
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 carrot
  • 2 small beetroot
  • 2 small parsnip
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes
  • garlic (to taste)
  • Parsley and spring onion to garnish
  • 1/2 red chili (for spice)
  • salt and pepper

Add the potatoes
1. Peel and dice the potatoes into small cubes. This will take the longest to cook, so add the diced potatoes to the stock (first removing the bay leaves)
Dice the cabbage
2. Finely dice the cabbage, red pepper, onion and garlic and place into a large mixing bowl
grate the root vegetables
3. Peel the root vegetables (carrot, beet and parsnip), and grate into the same mixing bowl
all ingredients in a mixing bowl ready to add to stock
4. You would now have a colourful concoction of diced and grated vegetables. By the time you have prepared these, the potatoes should be just right. Simmer all together until the first signs of boiling.
Add tomatoes
5. Once the soup is brought to the boil, add the two cans of diced tomatoes and stir in through the liquid.
6. While the soup is simmering on a low heat, chop the parsley and the spring onion. This is the last ingredient (more a garnish), to add to the Borsht.
7. Turn off the heat, cover and let sit for a while. As a rule of thumb, it always tastes better the next day.

And that is it! Very simple! 

For a touch of spice, add the red chili, and a squeeze of lemon. 

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