Apart from the fact that you get more crisps in a packet over here, the one thing I can say I enjoy about Russian food is the Borsch. Borsch is perhaps the most popular soup in Russia with my host even saying it is “essential” to eat it.
A lot of receipes I have seen have taken the meaning of beetroot soup far too literally and the result is a bright pink soup, sometimes even puréed. No! This is not right! To sum it up, Borsch is just a vegetable soup with beetroot making up one of the components of the recipe in order to give it it’s red colour.
I’ve learnt how to make Borsch from my Russian mother over here and thought I would share the recipe with you all so from now on you have no excuse to make a puréed beetroot soup and call it Borsch!
There are no set quantites of ingredients, this is just a guideline. When explaining how much stock to use she simply got out a large saucepan and filled it halfway. I would say this soup could feed 6 people.
Beef/Chicken stock already prepared
3 tomatoes chopped
Tomato purée/Tomato ketchup (depending on the sweetness you would like)
1 Beetroot, grated.
3 Carrots, grated
1 Red pepper, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1/2 White cabbage, shredded
2 Dried bay leaves
6 medium potatoes
1-2 tbsp Sunflower oil/ Butter
1 tsp White wine vinegar (to maintain the beetroot’s red colour)
1) Heat oil in a frying pan. Add carrot, onion, beetroot, tomatoes, pepper, vinegar and fry over a low heat. After 2 minutes add 1/2 ladle of the stock.
2) Cover the pan and whilst this is simmering, clean and chop the potatoes.
3) Add 2 tablespoons of ketchup/ tomato purée and turn off the heat.
4) Heat up the stock and add the potatoes. Leave to cook for 10 minutes.
5) Add the cabbage to the bouillon and cook for 5 minutes.
6) Add the rest of the cooked vegetables and the bay leaves and cook the bouillon on a low heat for 15 minutes to ensure you don’t lose the red colour. Add seasoning if need be.
Many people cook this soup the day before they intend to eat it as the taste intensifies over night and makes for a much tastier soup!