Borsch (the beetroot soup) recipe

Borsch (the beetroot soup) recipe

It’s not as random as it looks. It’s the influence of the World Cup, that inspired our office to do an International Food Day, which in turn was the reason I got asked the recipe for borsch.Completely logical!
And while typing it out, I realized how much I actually like cooking this simple beetroot soup – because I relate it to my story, where I come from; it’s my mom’s specific version, uniquely Russian (all the more ironic as it actually originated in Ukraine). When I cook this borsch for my friends, I’m sharing a part of my culture with them. So here is a bit of that now going into the internet universe. Try it out and enjoy something different.

Zhukova’s Borsch Recipe

A large pot of water (8-10l capacity I think will do)
Half a kilo of beef or lamb meat on the bone, ideally with some fat on them (not the fancy stuff but bony basics)
Two medium beetroots, peeled
Two medium carrots, peeled
4 potatoes, peeled
1/4 of a small head of white cabbage
One large onion
4 fresh tomatoes or one can of canned tomatoes
Olive oil, salt, Italian herbs, flower for frying
Sour cream and fresh parsley to serve

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1. Put the meat into cold water over low heat, to make meat stock (fill the pot iwth water to about 2/3).
2. Grate beetroots on the large side the grate, put into a small boiling pot and add cold water, so it just covers beetroot. Put on low heat so it boils and cooks. Add a bit of salt half way through the cooking.

3. When the meat stock water is half way through to boiling, add salt to taste and add potatoes, cut into medium cubes.
4. When the stock starts boiling, remove any froth. Add cabbage, cut into small chunks as you’d do for coleslaw, and reduce the heat to small.

5. At the same time, while soup base and the beetroot are boiling, chop onion into small pieces, and start frying with olive oil over medium heat. When slightly translucent, add grated (on the large side of the grate) carrots. Fry until carrots are half-cooked, they start becoming yellow in the edges (or to taste). Add salt to taste. Sprinkle a table spoon of flower over carrot and onion, mix and fry for 30 sec together. Add chopped tomatoes and salt to taste. Fry for a couple of minutes together, reduce heat to low. Add 2 tablespoons of ketchup and Italian herbs, mix and fry for a further minute. Add two ladlefuls of water from the soup base, mix well, and stew for another minute. Switch off.

6. By this stage, the meat, potatoes and cabbage in the soup base would have cooked. Add the carrot mix into the soup pot, stir well.

7. After a couple of minutes, add the beetroot (would have cooked by now). Mix well. Try for salt, add if necessary. Add a bit of black pepper. Leave for 3-4 minutes.

8. Switch off the heat, cover the pot and leave for 10-15min

9. Serve with a tablespoon of sour cream per bowl, with fresh parsley if you prefer.