Borscht is an Eastern European dish that has Beetroot as its main ingredient. It is a flavorful meal made from an array of fresh vegetables and complemented with sour cream. Traditional borscht does not follow a recipe. It is rather considered to be the art of combining the suggested ingredients in the particular way that you choose. This is also because Borscht was a popular meal in the Soviet where many people cooked on a limited budget and had to make do with what was available. However, there are a huge number of recipes available and it is helpful to have some guidance for your first Borscht making experience.
Borscht is a meal you can easily adapt to your own tastes. You can make it with or without meat and add in different flavors as you wish. Some people add in fruit, interesting condiments and pepper to create a variety of flavors. The herbs and spices in a Borscht recipe may be exchanged for something of equal texture that tickles your taste buds. For example, chicken, vegetable, beef or mushroom stock all work beautifully in a recipe for Borscht and add in a slightly different flavor. Bacon can also be included in your Borscht in the place of a meaty stock to add flavor and body to the meal. You can exchange dill and parsley for marjoram, oregano, thyme or celery root. Some people like to include turnips and kielbasa in their recipes.
What is key in making your Borsht is the order of cooking. The onions and garlic must be fried first, followed by the beetroot and carrots and then completed with potato and cabbage. This is due to the amount of time it takes to prepare each ingredient. This way, the vegetables do not lose their flavor but rather create an interesting blend of flavors.
In order to make a more refined soup, you will need to chop or grate the vegetables as fine as possible. It is recommended that you use a cheese grater to create thin slices of the beetroot and carrots as this draws out the color and makes for a smooth texture in your Borscht. It is important to add liquid to the fried vegetables immediately after frying as this helps to keep their color and taste fresh. Also remember that adding an excess of salt, sugar or other condiments to your Borscht can create a bitter taste.
Another trick to a great Borsht is to cook the final mixture of ingredients for as long as possible as the flavor becomes richer the longer it is over the stove. Some even recommend that you leave your cooked Borscht to refrigerate overnight and heat it the following day.
Borscht is a great dinner option in the colder months and tastes great alongside fresh, warm bread. Surprisingly, it is just as good when it is served cold, which is great news for summer! Here is a trusted recipe for Borsht that you can use and adapt to create your own versions of this flavorful meal.
- Water- 2.5 liter
- Potatoes- 5-6 medium
- Shredded cabbage- 200 gm
- Celery sticks- 2
- Vegetable oil( Canola)- 5 tbsp
- Onion- 1 large
- Beetroot- 1 piece ( small)
- Carrot- 2 medium
- Capsicum -1 ( optional)
- Tomatoes- 4 medium ( plus 2 tbsp of tomato paste)
- Sugar- ½ tsp
- Salt-To Taste
- Black Pepper- To Taste
- Bay leaves- 3
- Round red chili-2
- Lemon juice- 2 tbsp
- Wash potatoes, peel and cube them.
- Wash the cabbage and shred.
- Grate beetroot and carrot or cut into strips.
- Remove the seeds from the capsicum and chop it finely.
- Chop tomatoes into small pieces.
- Choose a large frying pan, heat vegetable oil.Add chopped onion and fry till light golden color.
- Put tomatoes, carrots, capsicum and beetroot. Fry for another 5 minutes.
- Now transfer ALL the ingredients( vegetables and seasonings) in crock pot set "high" 4-5 hours.
- Before serving , add finely chopped parsley or celery leaves.
- Borsht is usually served with Sour Cream.