Before I made this soup, I was not a fan of Borscht. You could almost say I had a distinctly unfavorable opinion of it, like the word borscht made me feel a belly ache. I had only eaten it once before and it was not a pleasurable experience. But... I had all the ingredients and a recipe so I figured I should give it a go. It is also dead simple to make. The fact that it is was a gorgeous, sunny, summer-like day didn't contribute to a borscht weather feeling, but that was fine, at least I had some natural light for the photos. And if you thought of borscht as a repugnant, innard-like mess of pink-tinged ingredients, toss those thoughts aside and open yourself up to the wonders of Borscht!
These are the basic raw ingredients you will need (I will actually give a recipe for this one). I did not use this much salt, pepper and paprika. I did use all of the above vegetables along with garlic and some tomato sauce.
I have been checking out cookbooks from the library like a madwoman. I have a few Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall books scattered about along with an Andrea Nguyen and The Whole Beast by Fergus Henderson. After paying a very big library fine, the guy behind the counter smiled and said about The River Cottage Cookbook, "other people want this one, so try to bring it back." On time, I suppose he meant, since I always bring them back- I'm just so damn late about it. I've also been watching No Reservations on Netflix with a passion that I haven't experienced since my marathons of Dexter viewing.
- two beets
- three to four carrots
- three to four potatoes
- 1/4 head of red cabbage
- one onion
- four cloves of garlic
- half a small can of tomato sauce
- oil or bacon fat
- 1 beef bouillon cube
- sour cream
- salt, pepper, paprika
Scrub and peel the vegetables. I decided to leave the skin on the potatoes because it would have been a hassle to peel them. Cut the onion in half, then into slices. Chop the garlic. I cut the beets and potatoes and cabbage into chunks and I cut the carrots into coins.
Since I have been storing pork fat in the refrigerator like nobody's business, I used a good spoonful in the soup pot and then threw in the onions and garlic and let them soften over low heat. Add four to six cups of water along with all the other ingredients except the spices and sour cream. Bring to a boil and cook for an hour to an hour and a half. You may want to add the cabbage later than all the other vegetables if you want it to maintain texture. Once the beets are soft, add in about 1 teaspoon of kosher salt, several pinches of pepper and 1/2 to 1 tablespoon of paprika, taste, adjust the seasoning and you are done. Serve it with a spoonful of sour cream on top, some bread on the side and enjoy!
Oh, and... WHO DAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!