2 onions, diced
2 sticks celery, diced
1kg beetroot, peeled and diced
about 2L water or stock
salt and ground black pepper
juice of 1 lemon, or 1 tbsp red / white wine vinegar
1-2 tbsp caster sugar (optional)
4-6 medium boiled or roasted potatoes
sour cream or yoghurt, to garnish
fresh dill or chives, to garnish
A simple borscht recipe for beautiful winter beetroots – flavoursome, earthy and sweet. This originally comes from the Rose Bakery cookbook (Breakfast, Lunch, Tea by Rose Carrarini), where it’s often served cold with a pre-cooked potato (piping hot!) and a spoonful of sour cream. Right now it’s still wintery cold outside, but keep that in mind for the warmer months!
The second borscht recipe at hand (from Maeve O’Meara’s Food Safari), says to blend three potatoes into the soup with an extra boiled potato in each bowl. So add more/less potatoes and heat or chill to please yourself here, depending on the weather and how much you’re relying on this meal to fill you up!
Okay lastly, there’s no cabbage in this recipe but many would say that adding a generous wedge (thinly sliced) to the pot would be traditional. At this time of year it’s likely there is cabbage needing a home, so that point may be helpful! Oh and by all accounts this would be good in a slow cooker too – 6 hours on low or 3 hours on high should do it, then blend and serve topped with sour cream, herbs and that extra potato.
Serves 4-6, hot or cold.
Place the onions, celery and beetroot in a large saucepan and cover well with about 2 litres of water. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to the boil and simmer till the beetroot is soft. Say about 40 – 50 mins, depending on the size of your beetroot dices.
Meanwhile roast, boil or heat up the leftover potatoes from last night’s dinner. One for each bowl, or more to blend with the beetroot, as Maeve would do.
Once cooked, blend the soup in a food processor or with an immersion blender, or leave it chunky – especially if you have added the bonus cabbage. If it’s quite thick when blended, you can always add a little more water or stock.
Season to taste with lemon juice and a touch of sugar if need be, bearing in mind borscht excels with a wonderful sweet and sour taste, and the natural sweetness of the beetroots will vary. Place a hot potato in each bowl and pour in the soup, along with a good dollop of sour cream or yoghurt. Fresh herbs on top!