Whoa! I had no idea there were so many different kinds of borsch. I'd always assumed that borsch was, well, borsch - basic beet soup. But, in fact, the word borsch simply means any soup made with a variety of vegetables, and in Eastern Europe, there are hundreds of varieties, each one considered authentic. Some have beef, some have sausage, some have bacon and still others have a whole range of vegetables. Since I often cook with meat, I decided to go the vegetarian route, opting instead to made a simple soup where the beautiful earthy beet flavor would be the star. Pure in flavor, spectacular in color and loaded with vitamins, borsch is now officially on my "this is surprisingly awesome" list of foods. Oh, and don't forget to serve it with hearty pumpernickel, slathered with sweet butter. Epic.
|Map Courtesy of Lonely Planet|
Cuisine in Ukraine is influenced by Russian, Polish, German and Turkish traditions. Meat, mushrooms, vegetables, berries, fruits and herbs are abundant in Ukranian cooking. Called the "breadbasket" of Europe, bread in many forms and cooking methods is integral to the countries culinary identity. Pickled vegetables, dumplings, cabbage, beets, cheese, pork, fish, lamb, potatoes, tortes, nuts poppy seed pastry and cakes are all typical of the country's cuisine.
Chop onions, beets and carrots
Warm or cold, borsch is delicious
1/2 cup peeled carrots, finely chopped
1 cup peeled onions, finely chopped
2 cups peeled beets, finely chopped
1 Tbsp. butter
2 cups vegetable broth or stock
1 cup finely shredded cabbage
1 Tbsp. vinegar
Chop carrot, onions and beets. Add to pot and barely cover with boiling water. Simmer gently, covered for about 20 minutes.
Add butter, stock, shredded cabbage and vinegar and simmer for another 15 minutes.
When cooked, blend or run soup through a food mill until desired consistency.
Ladle into bowls, top with a dollop of sour cream, a spoonful of cucumber and sprinkling of dill.
Serve with good pumpernickel bread and butter.
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