Borscht is a soup made primarily from beets. It originates in eastern Europe, probably Lithuania, and as many recipes may be found for this as there are regions of eastern Europe. It dates back to Medieval times and was primarily a food of the poor. Beets were cheap! But this is a delicious and hearty soup. It must be served with a good sour cream add the fresh dill is a must. We served it with hearty rye wheat bread from the local bakery and some beer pretzel sticks. It is one of those dishes that is even better the next day, as the flavors meld together.
Russian Beet and Cabbage Borscht
(adapted from All Recipes and The Food Timeline)
1 ½ cups thinly slice peeled potatoes
1 cup peeled and thinly sliced or grated beets (coat with lemon juice to retain bright color)
4 cups beef, vegetable or veal stock
2 T butter
2 T olive oil
1 ½ cup chopped onions
1 leek, sliced thin – white part only
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 t caraway seeds
2 t salt
1 celery stalk, chopped
1 large carrot, peeled and sliced
3 cups coarsely chopped red cabbage
Black pepper to taste
1 T cider vinegar
1 T honey
1 cup tomato puree
Sour cream for garnish
Place potatoes and beets in large pot over high heat, covered with the stock and boil until vegetables are tender. Remove the potatoes and beets with a spoon and reserve stock.
Melt the butter and olive oil in stock pot and stir in the onions, garlic and caraway seeds and salt and cook until translucent. Then stir in the celery, leeks, carrots and cabbage. Mix in the stock. Cook, covered until all the vegetables are cooked and tender – about 10-20 minutes. Add the potatoes and the beets. Season with salt and pepper and a bit of fresh dill weed. Stir in the apple cider vinegar, honey and tomato puree. Simmer, covered for about another 20-30 minutes. Serve topped with sour cream and a sprinkle of fresh snipped dill.