borscht

by 1 big bite on January 19, 2012

My mum makes this soup several times in the cold and very cold time of the year and especially every Christmas eve. I planned to continue this tradition, but last Christmas I rather thought about pulling out my shorts, than heating me up from the inside. So I waited patiently for colder weather.

Don’t think of this kind of borscht soup in the regular way, it is not something you would scoop into your mouth, it doesn’t come in a soup plate and it’s not a meal. This soup comes in a cup, feel free to slurp if you are allowed to do so… It will warm your belly and it is a great company for your sandwich.

Snuggle in your blanket, put your feed up and sip on a cup of hot borscht, this is how I picture you enjoying this soup. Oh and some cheese straws or toasted bread or… Sounds great to me.

The weather forecast promised some cold days, so I asked my mum for the recipe and as always I got a rough list of ingredients and some suggestions and variations. We already played this game several times, if it comes to old family recipes non of my relatives seams to have something written or even notes.

This recipe is very close to what I remember it should taste. Lucky me paying so much attention while my mum had been cooking.

Sorry for the imprecise amount of ingredients for the seasoning but its on you to season this soup how you like it or how much pepper you can handle. This soup should taste tart and peppery but shouldn’t be overwhelming that you still got a taste of the good broth and the beetroots. I got some kinds of vinegar listed below, the kind you choose will also influence the taste.
If you like to make a vegetarian borscht, use vegetable stock and add a few dried mushroom while cooking.
I didn’t felt well to discard the grated beetroots but after I cooked the heck out of them, they didn’t even looked appealing. Any suggestions besides compost pile?

borscht

4 beetroots
2 liter/ quarts good quality beef broth
3-4 cloves of garlic
1 bay leaf (optional)

to taste:
2 tablespoons vinegar, many kinds will do or a mix of them: white vinegar, cider vinegar, white wine vinegar, red wine vinegar, you get the idea

sugar (1 teaspoon at least)
lots of freshly ground black pepper
salt
soy sauce or maggi seasoning (my mum’s suggestion)
some dill or parsley
a gulp of olive oil
Peel the garlic gloves and smash them with the blade of your knife.
Peel the beetroots and grate them with a box grater or food processor. Put the grated beetroots, garlic cloves, bay leaf (if using) and the broth into a cooking pot and cover. Bring to a broil over medium heat and then lower the temperature and let simmer for at least 30 minutes.

Pour everything through a colander. Discard the grated beetroots and the garlic. Pour the soup back into the pot and season to taste. Approach the seasoning until it tastes to your liking.
Wrap your cold fingers around your mug and let the soup warm you from the inside.

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