Food Origins: Russian BorschtJanuary 24, 2014 by John Detloff
Borscht is one of the first meals commonly thought of when someone mentions Russian cuisine, but it is a favorite dish in many European countries and parts of China. Even though it is thought of as a cold weather meal, borscht can be served hot or cold. The versatility in ingredients comes from using the local vegetables available in each of the regions where it is made.
While several variations are vegetarian, it is also common to add bacon or beef. Depending upon your preferences, borscht can be anything from a light soup to a hearty stew-like meal. Any way you decide to make your borscht, it is certain to be a healthy meal with lots of taste.
- 1 1/2 cups (375 g) thinly sliced potatoes
- 1 cup (250 g) thinly sliced beets
- 4 cups (1 liter) vegetable stock or water
- 2 tablespoons (30 g) butter
- 1 1/2 cups (375 g) chopped onions
- 1 teaspoon (5 g) caraway seed
- 2 teaspoons (10 g) salt
- 1 celery stalk, chopped
- 1 large carrot, sliced
- 3 cups (750 g) coarsely chopped red cabbage
- 1/4 teaspoon (1 g) fresh dill
- 1 tablespoon (15 mL) cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon (15 mL) honey
- 1 cup (250 mL) tomato purée
- Black pepper, to taste
- Sour cream, for topping
- Chopped tomatoes, for garnish
- Place potatoes and beets in a medium saucepan over high heat. Pour in the stock and boil until vegetables become tender. Remove the potatoes and beets with a slotted spoon and reserve the stock.
- In a large skillet, melt butter at medium heat. Stir in the onions, caraway seeds and salt. Cook until onions are translucent. Next, stir in celery, carrots and cabbage. Mix in reserved stock. Cover and cook for 10 minutes or until all vegetables are tender.
- Add potatoes and beets to the skillet. Season with black pepper and dill. Stir in cider vinegar, honey, and tomato purée. Cover, reduce heat to medium low, and simmer at least 30 minutes. Serve topped with sour cream, extra dill weed, and chopped fresh tomatoes.