Friday, September 4, 2009

You can see Russia from my kitchen: Beet Borscht Recipe

In my vocational and volunteer travels, I tutored Olga in English when she first came to the US many, many years ago. She was delightful and taught me so much about what it means to start a new life in a new country; we became good friends, for which I remain grateful. Here's my version of her version of that Russian favorite, the refreshing cold beet soup known as borscht.

With all the fresh beets available for
locavores, this recipe should come in pretty handy. If you're someone who doesn't think they care for beets, I recommend you give this borscht recipe a try before you give up on such a healthy, colorful veggie.

Are you the type that likes to experiment and come up with improvements? Perhaps this brings back an alter heym memory or two? Your comments are most welcome!

Beet Borscht
Russian Cafe Version - With thanks to Olga
Servings: ~6-8

For broth:
3 bunches beets
10 c cold water to cover
1 t salt
1 T sugar
2 T vinegar (balsamic is good)

For topping (everything is optional except the dill and sour cream (for which you can,
however, substitute yoghurt)
¼ cucumber, diced
3 boiled eggs
½-1 c sour cream
2 green onions, diced small
1 sprig fresh dill
radishes chopped or cut into roses
boiled potatoes, quartered or diced

Prepare broth
Scrub beets well (do not peel), remove leaves (reserve for use in another recipe). Cover with water and bring to boil. Simmer about an hour until tender, adding water if necessary.

Remove beets from pot with slotted spoon. Rub off outer skin (discard) and grate beets, reserving liquid.

Bring liquid back to boil, then add grated beets, salt, sugar, vinegar. Boil 2 minutes more, then remove from heat. Chill well.

In each bowl, place your choice of boiled potatoes, cucumber, beets; on top, add dollop of sour cream or yoghurt, chopped egg, dill, radish, green onion.

Serve very cold.