Friday, February 23, 2007

BORSCHT (Russian Beet and Cabbage Soup)

It is the long simmering which makes this simple recipe especially good. It can also be served chilled, of course. Although borscht (of which this is a version) is not usually pureed, this makes it extra special and suitable for family or dinner party fare. Surprisingly, this also freezes well.

BORSCHT (Russian Beet and Cabbage Soup)

750 g (1-1/2 lb) raw beet/beetroot, peeled and diced OR same of cooked*
1 small cabbage, thinly sliced
1/2 small carrot, chopped
6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 onions, chopped
1.5 litres (2-1/2 pints or 6 US cups) vegetable stock (homemade if you
have it)
sea salt to taste (depending on the salitiness of your stock)
freshly ground black pepper
1-1/2 Tbsp vinegar (taste carefully as you add it)
vegan yoghurt or vegan sour 'creme' for garnish
grated cucumber for garnish

Put all the vegetables in a large pan and add the stock. Bring to the
boil and simmer for 2 hours. (You could also do this in a crockpot or slow

Put the soup in a blender in batches, season with salt and pepper and
add a Tbsp of vinegar, then another half Tbsp depending on your taste. Reheat
gently, garnish with the 'creme' and grated cucumber. Serves 6.

*If you are lazy like me, you may want to boil beets up one day - to use
for another dish - and reserve the amount of beets needed for this soup.
In that case, I like to boil the beets in their skins and then plunge them into
cold water. That way the skins just slip off - far less trouble and less
mess. Then you can add the cooked beets to the other ingredients as above.
The soup is good either way.


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