My sparkfriend JENSHAINES posted her "Real Borsch" recipe a few days ago and it sounded so good I had to try it. Well, it was fabulous and, I hope you don't mind Jen, but I had to post the process of making it. This is a fantastic recipe. Because of the ingredients I had, I tweaked it a little, but you can find her original recipe at:
I had never made Borsch before, nor do I think I've ever had it, so this was an adventure. Jen lived in Soviet Russia so this is as real as it gets. Well, her version. I added a few things so it may not be authentic anymore. Plus, I cut down some ingredients to try and make less soup. Jen says it freezes well, but there won't be any leftover to freeze after tomorrow!
Jen's Real Borsch, modified by Jan somewhat
6-8 cups of water (I ended up adding water after I added the veggies back in because I lost some to evaporation. You could cover and cook.)
3-4 medium beets, peeled and cut in half
1 TBS salt
1 medium potato, peeled and cubed (I used some fingerlings that I had)
1 small carrot, peeled and shredded
1/2 medium head of white cabbage, shredded
1 medium tomato, chopped (I ended up using 1/2 can of diced tomatoes)
1-2 TBS of tomato paste
1/2 large onion, diced (optional)
1 large clove of garlic, minced (optional)
Fresh ground pepper
2 TBS cider vinegar
1 TBS maple syrup
1) First off, get your water boiling in your favorite soup pot!
2) Gather your little beets and rinse them off. The ones I picked up at the market were covered in soil. They needed a good scrub.
Cleaned and ready.
3) When your water is boiling, add in the beets and boil for about 10 minutes or until they start to lose their color and can be pierced with a fork.
Look how bright red the water is. So pretty.
4) While the beets are cooking, prep the other vegetables (if you have a food processor with a shredder attachment this will go very quickly).
Fingerling potatoes washed and scrubbed.
Some cooks sip a glass of fine wine while they cook. I cook with a fine vanilla soy latte. :-)
I can't remember the name of this little cabbage. It isn't white, nor nappa, but it looked good.
Carrot and cabbage shredded.
And because I can't cook soup without a little onion and garlic, I lightly sauteed some in a separate pan. This is where I deviated a little from Jen's recipe.
5) When ready, remove the beets from the water and shred with a food processor.
I just shredded it with the rest.
6) Put all the vegetables into the boiling water. Add the onion and garlic if using. Stir and bring back to a simmer. Leave soup cooking on simmer for about 1 1/2 hours.
7) Add in the final seasonings; vinegar, maple syrup, and a little Spike herb blend.
This picture doesn't do it justice, but look at that color.
8) Salt and pepper to taste.
To serve, add some freshly grated pepper and a tablespoon of reduced fat sour cream or greek yogurt.
Ready to eat!
MMMMM.... The tang of the vinegar and the sweetness of the maple syrup pair beautifully with the beets and vegetables. I'm in heaven. Thanks Jen for making this the best ending to my day!
Go check out Jen's original recipe. I had so much fun making this. Because of the beautiful color, this might be good served on Valentine's Day. Just sayin'...