Oh, the trail of cooking adventures I’ve been on since I posted last … way back “last year.” We (my mother and I) outdid ourselves this time. Even my sons, who are gargantuan foodies, said we might have gone one delectable and massive meal to far. But what the heck, it was holiday time. Besides, we loved every minute of it.
Last time I shared my family’s recipe for cabbage rolls, a part of our pre-Christmas food celebration. And I promised I’d share the one for borscht, too, which is sort of Eastern and Central Europe’s answer to chicken soup. Just like every cook’s chicken soup has its own flavor and flair, so it is with borscht. Some are beet-centric, some heavier on cabbage, while others add potatoes, tomatoes and/or vegetables and occasionally even meat or sausage. There is no right or wrong way to make borscht, and I’ve never tasted one I didn’t like.
Our recipe is beet-centered, so much so that at my mom’s house all the grandkids used to call it “red soup.” Beets are detoxifying and filled with lots of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory components, so I think it’s a great recipe to share for the New Year as everyone amps up their health and diet regiments.
The recipe itself is very easy. Only the preparation (grating the raw vegetables) is labor intensive, unless you use a food processor. We have always done it by hand … crazy, maybe … but it’s tradition!
6 cups water
6 round, medium sized beets, grated to equal approx. 3 cups
6 medium carrots, grated to equal approx. ¾ to 1 cup
1 large onion, grated to equal approx. 1 cup
2 cups chopped cabbage
2 (and a bit) cups beef broth
2 T butter or margarine
Heat water, with a bit of salt, in a Dutch oven
Add the grated beets, carrots and onions, simmer (not boil) for approx. ½ hour
Add cabbage, beef broth and butter, bring to a boil, then simmer for approx. 15 minutes.
Serve, or cool and put in containers for freezing.
We serve our borscht with heavy cream and/or sour cream. It turns the soup pink and makes it taste rich and silky. But if you want to use this soup to detox, eat it “red”!
Enjoy! Eat well. Be happy.