Today I will be sharing how to make Borscht! With my Russian background and because I grew up in Russia you can guess that I ate lots of borsht! We grew our own vegetables and made tomato sauce from scratch! So many stories and memories! And now let’s talk about borscht!
WHAT IS BORSHT AND HOW TO MAKE BORSHT.
Borsht is a classic Russian soup dish that has red beets and cabbage in it!
There are so many variations of this classic dish. In some regions red kidney beans are added, or sauerkraut and even small pieces of old cured salted pork fat called old “salo” .
I will share my moms version of Borscht, it came from Kuban region where I was born and grew up. It is delicious! My mom used pork lard for sautéing veggies and made the stock from beef or pork bones.
Instead I will use olive oil for sautéing and a chicken bouillon stock.
BASE AND VEGETABLES.
When you look at the basic structure of Borsht it is made using vegetable or meat broth as a base. When it comes to vegetables classic combo of potatoes, cabbage, carrot, onion and beets are used.
SAUCE IT UP!
To add to the richness of the broth tomato sauce and tomato paste are added when sautéing vegetables.
Sautéing onions, grated carrots and beets deepens the flavor of the borsht. Adding tomato paste and tomato sauce adds another flavor to it that pairs so well with all ingredients.
CUTTING VEGETABLES FOR BORSCHT.
When borsht was served at my friends houses back in Russia I noticed that there’s different way that veggies were cut. Some cooks would cut carrots and beets into thin matchsticks other just grated them with large hole grater or finely chopped .
Cabbage was either sliced into coleslaw sized cuts or was chopped into larger pieces size of a tablespoon.
Same with potatoes, some where sliced into thin slices others where large cubes.
All of this will change the flavor some. Cutting vegetables into larger pieces help preserve the flavor and cooking time must be increased. Vegetables that are grated infuse broth with their flavors. Regardless of how you slice them you will make a delicious borscht!
This recipe has basic directions and extra tips on how to make borscht!
And now I’m going to show you how to make borsht!
HOW TO MAKE BORSHT.Course: SoupsDifficulty: moderate
I make my soups and Borsht in my Lodge dutch oven 4.5 quart pot. I sauté vegetables in it as well.
I start cooking by getting all of my ingredients ready. Peel an onion, potatoes, carrots and beets. I open tomato sauce and tomato paste cans.
Since we are only using 1 tablespoon of tomato paste I divide remaining paste in 2 and freeze it for future use. Let’s take a look at our ingredient list.
1 large onion chopped
1 large carrot or 2 small grated
2 medium sized beets or 1 large grated. I am using 1 deep red and 1 lighter variety as you can see in the pictures below the recipe.
4 large red or yellow potatoes peeled, cut into 4, then sliced into 1/4 inch thick slices
up to 4 cups of sliced fresh cabbage or fresh Cole slaw mix 1 bag
one 8 oz can of tomato sauce
1 full tablespoon of tomato paste
6 cups of chicken stock or bouillon cubes to make 6 cups of stock
4 garlic cloves peeled and chopped
1/4 teaspoon of ground black pepper
salt to taste
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
5 tablespoons of vegetable oil (I use olive oil intended for sautéing)
fresh parsley and sour cream for serving(optional)
- Use medium/ high heat to sauté veggies. In a pot add olive oil and chopped onion. Cook until onion has golden edges.
- Reserve 1/3 or grated fresh carrots and beets in a small bowl to use later in the borsht and set aside.
- Add remaining shredded beets and carrots to the pot with cooking onions. Cook stirring often for about 5 minutes.
- Add tomato sauce and tomato paste into the pot with cooked onion, beet, carrot and stir very well. Cook for another minute, then transfer to a large bowl and set aside.
- In a same pot without rinsing it add 6 cups of chicken or boullion stock, sliced potatoes, reserved grated carrots and beets. Bring to boil and cook for 13 minutes.
- Then check if potato slices are done. They should slice easy in half when cut with a knife.
- Add cooked tomato sauce veggie mixture and stir borsht well with a large ladle.
- Then right away add sliced cabbage, chopped garlic, red pepper flakes and ground black pepper and stir well again.
- Taste borsht to see if you need to add any salt.
- Bring to boil and cook on medium-low for another 5-6 minutes then turn of the heat.
- The borscht is done!
- Serve borsht in a deep soup bowl with a slice of hearty bread, such as rye, sourdough or any artisan savory bread you love.
- Garnish with fresh chopped dill and a dollop of sour cream! Add garnishes at the time of serving!
- Refrigerate for up to 4 days or freeze remaining borsht! Enjoy and please let me know how it turns out!
- Use bacon grease instead of vegetable oil for a richer flavor!
- Use pork bone on ribs to make broth. Simply simmer them in a pot with a lid on(you may need to vent the lid) on low in 7 cups of water for about 50 minutes, then discard the bones and use meat in borscht.
- Use less vegetables for a thinner, less veggie packed borscht.