The main ingredient of borsch is beetroot. Other ingredients can vary, but without beet there is no borsch. Borsch can be vegetarian, and just take it from the big meat-eater: vegetarian borsch is not an iota less tasty. So, you start from ether clean water or a beef broth. For 1.5 L (about 6 cups) of water of broth you will need: - 3 medium size beets with leafy tops (if you can’t find beet with tops, add about ¼ head of white or red cabbage) - 1 big carrot
- 1 medium white onion
- 1 big parsley root (if you can’t find it, just add more parsley at the end)
- 1 – 2 potatoes
- 2 tomatoes or about of ½ cup of tomato sauce
- You can also add a bell pepper, but this is optional
- Garlic to taste
- Salt, black pepper, bay leaf, sour cream, hot mustard, parsley, dill Cooking time at least an hour, but the slowly you cook a soup – the better it tastes.
The most Important technology know-how: put leafs raw and braise roots separately before putting them in the soup. A rule of thumb: if it’s a root – grate it or chop very fine and braise it for a 3 – 5 min on the pan. Then – put it in. If it’s not a root – just chop it put it as it is.This is an order that I use when putting the veggie in the borsch: 1) Grated and braised carrot
2) Grated and braised beet
3) Chopped or grated potato
4) Grated and braised parsley root
5) Chopped and braised onion
6) Chopped beet tops or cabbage
7) Crushed tomato or tomato sauce
8) Bell pepper if you use it I salt the broth before adding veggies, but this is up to you. You may also want to add a little sugar or/and lemon juice: the soup should have a nicely balanced sweet-and-sour taste. So try it and make an adjustment if it’s necessary (for the most time it’s not). Don’t put the bay leaf too early: it can give a bitter taste to the soup. And never – NEVER – let the borsch to boil violently. This is another important know-how: if you let the borsch to boil heavily, it will loose its color. So keep your pot on the edge of boiling all the time. Be patient. Do it on weekend. Actually, borsch is getting better overnight. If you cook it in the evenin, it will be even tastier at the next day lunch. Serve your borsch with sour cream, hot mustard, crushed garlic, black pepper, chopped parsley and dill. It is a spicy, hot, hearty dish. Try it before it’s get too hot outside.
Bon appetite mes amis!