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Borscht! YUMMY!!! - I can't believe I was so frightened of cooking with beetroot

Borscht! YUMMY!!! - I can't believe I was so frightened of cooking with beetroot

Old Apr 19, 07, 11:00 am
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Borscht! YUMMY!!! - I can't believe I was so frightened of cooking with beetroot

I ended up with tons of beetroot - finally forcing me to confront my beetroot phobia (I was always scared of how much mess there'd be, and that the stains would be indelible).

I've been a fool.

I made borscht for the first time a couple of days ago, and it was the best soup I've ever had.

I wanted to make a vegetarian version (so not Ukranian) and I used this recipe as a guide: http://homecooking.about.com/library...ve/blss107.htm

But with changes:
Stage 1
1 large onion - chopped
1 stem of celery - finely sliced
4 medium beetroots - peeled and julienned (but by hand, so not too thin)
1 medium carrot - peeled and chopped
----
Stage 2
1 clove garlic - minced
2 largish potatoes - diced
EDIT: forgot to add - 1 leek, sliced
1 small/medium cabbage head - finely sliced
about 15 fuid ounces (450ml) vegetable stock (I used a couple of teaspoons of good quality stock powder 'marigold brand' and a spoonful of mild mustard) - just enough to cover the cabbage and potatoes
-------
Stage 3
1 bell pepper - chopped
1.5 Tbsp sugar
juice of half a lemon fresh squeezed
2 Tbsp ponzu sauce (add a little more lemon juice and some soy sauce if you don't have any)
ground black pepper - to taste

Stage 1
Fry the onions on a lowish heat in oil in a large frying pan/wok, then the celery and when they're soft and begin to brown, add carrot and beetroot. Stir occasionally for 10 to 15 minutes (until beets and carrot are tender)

Stage 2
Saute potatoes in large deep pan, add leek & garlic, saute some more (2 or 3 minutes is fine) add cabbage and toss in pan, then add piping hot stock. Cook for about 5 minutes. Add ingredients cooked in Stage 1. Add Stage 3 ingredients. Reduce heat to very low, cover and simmer for 20-30 minutes.

This soup is fine on the day.

However, the next day it is unbelievably good.

The soup should be REALLY thick. Great with a dollop of soured cream (didn't have dill to hand)


Sensational, and everything cleaned up quickly and easily - can't believe it's taken me this long to make some.

Borscht! Is there a more delicious soup?

Last edited by LapLap; May 19, 07 at 4:16 pm
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Old Apr 19, 07, 11:44 am
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Originally Posted by LapLap View Post
The soup should be REALLY thick. Great with a dollop of soured cream

Yes! The sour cream is a must-have.

We served borscht at our wedding reception. Love it.
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Old Apr 19, 07, 12:00 pm
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I first tried borscht in 1992, during a trip to Russia, Ukraine and Estonia. My poor memory suggests we ate borscht at nearly every meal. I fell immediately and deeply in love! (with the borscht, though I met my first Nihon GF on this trip, as well). Since then, I've tried unsuccessfully to find that taste, again. I've tasted store-bought bortsch, Maneshewitz brand (I believe) but it was just a let down. We even have a Russian restaurant, in Las Vegas, but I haven't visited, yet.

So... Thank you for the suggestion that good home made borscht is possible.
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Old Apr 19, 07, 12:08 pm
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The Polish for of Borscht...aka Barszcz is also delicious...although ours is more of a beet broth...often made with pickled beet. I aboslutely love it! Though the best is homemade....the way my mom makes it .

-W
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Old Apr 19, 07, 12:29 pm
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Originally Posted by Sunnyhere View Post
So... Thank you for the suggestion that good home made borscht is possible.
I drifted out of sleep at around 4am the night/morning after I'd made it - there was a delightful smell of calf shin stock in the air. I realised that MrLapLap had woken up with a huge craving and was tucking into it 'guiltily'.

I'd made a huge amount. We had enough for some more the next day (when it had reached perfection) but no more. And there's only two of us!
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Old Apr 19, 07, 12:35 pm
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One of my all time favorite vegetables and a soup I haven't had since I worked for Mrs Rosenberg's B&B as a high school senior. I've been afraid of trying to make it too. First for all the same reasons and second because I'm afraid mine wouldn't hold a candle to Mrs Rosenberg's.

I'm going to try using your recipe, LapLap, and I'll let you know what I think.

BTW, one of the most interesting beetroot dishes I have been served was at a small restaurant in north Devon. They shredded and sauteed them. There's enough sugar in the beetroot to caramelize. It was amazing. I can't remember if it was offered as a side or an appetizer. It wasn't on the menu, but my co-worker remembered it from last visit, asked and it was still available.
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Old Apr 20, 07, 8:14 am
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Originally Posted by BamaVol View Post
BTW, one of the most interesting beetroot dishes I have been served was at a small restaurant in north Devon. They shredded and sauteed them. There's enough sugar in the beetroot to caramelize. It was amazing. I can't remember if it was offered as a side or an appetizer. It wasn't on the menu, but my co-worker remembered it from last visit, asked and it was still available.
I'm quite partial to roasted beets--same deal with the caramelization. Slice thin, toss with olive oil, sea salt, and thyme; roast for about 25 min at 450 F (be sure to use parchment paper, as they will leave quite a residue, even on 'nonstick' baking sheets). Also, I used to toss the greens, but got a Mario Batali cookbook for Xmas from the inlaws that has a recipe for a simple but tasty beet green soup, so now I use everything.
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Old Apr 20, 07, 8:45 am
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I like borscht as well. I had it while visiting Russia in 1985. My understanding is that it can be served hot or cold, thick or thin.

My preference is a good Hungarian goulash.
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Old Apr 20, 07, 9:31 am
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Borscht has to accompanied by:

1) A largish dollop of smetana, any creme fraiche will not do

2) Black (preferably sour) bread with butter and salt

3) At least 100 grams of the local vodka or maybe buttermilk for the non-drinker.

But then it's just one soup in the whole regiment Russian/Ukrainian etc. cooking has to offer.
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Old Apr 20, 07, 9:49 am
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Smile

a lot of Ukrainians here huh...

glad to hear something positive about my motherland, lol

--Russ
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Old Apr 20, 07, 10:06 am
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I think beets generally are delicious and easy to cook with, although you do have to watch out for the staining. I've cheated a few times lately in making a beet/goat cheese/grapefruit type salad by using these very nice vacuum packed baby beets in the refrigerated section of Trader Joe's...they are from Melissa's, I think, and last a long time in the frig before opening. Great in salads of all type. And I agree, borscht is exceedingly yummy.
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Old Apr 20, 07, 10:17 am
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Originally Posted by Wingman32 View Post
The Polish for of Borscht...aka Barszcz is also delicious.
My future BIL is Polish and I tried Barszcz for the 1st time last year - and LOVE it! As my family is of Slovak and Lithuanian descent, I wish I tried it years ago!
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Old Apr 20, 07, 10:20 am
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I'm late to the "I love borscht" party. My parents used to have it when I was a child, but I was grossed out by the color and the sour cream (it wasn't until I was an adult in my 40s that I found out that sour cream isn't sour). I had my first bowl of borscht last year at a Russian restaurant here in SF. Hmmmmm!!!! Mrs. PTravel and I were in Harbin, China in January. Harbin is close to Siberia and has a lot of Russian influence. We ate in a Chinese Russian restaurant and had borscht that was so good we actually sat back and meditated for a moment on the wonderful taste.

Hmmmm. Borscht!!!!
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Old Apr 20, 07, 11:09 am
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I love borsch too! So far I tried Russian, Ukranian and Polish versions. I like the Ukranian one the best (and Im Russian!), and Polish the least (no offense to anyone Polish, just thought that Ukranian and Russian versions have more ingerients and are tastier, personal preference).

I have to say though, that the correct spelling of "borscht" is "borsch", withoun a "T" at the end
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Old Apr 20, 07, 12:21 pm
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Originally Posted by asnovici View Post
I have to say though, that the correct spelling of "borscht" is "borsch", withoun a "T" at the end
Duly noted, thank you!


(Chorizo has become quite fashionable in the UK lately and it gets mentioned all the time by these pompous snobby TV foodies. And they all say Choritzo - with a T - usually whislt saying some condescending comment.

Gnnrrrnnn!

It's either chori'th'o or chori's'o - you can even say chorizo if you want. I wish people wouldn't insert the t, it makes me cringe.)

Borsch it is then!
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