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(Experiment 300) Borsch

A Ukrainian friend of mine mentioned I should do some eastern european posting. Since I don’t really know any she provided me with probably the most iconic meal over there, the borsch.

Its traditionally served with sour cream and freshly chopped parsley and while the sour cream does give it a lot of texture, I personally find it gives it an off-taste. I guess it’s an acquired taste.

I strongly recommend you prepare the soup 1 day before eating it. All the flavours combine compared to the same day.
You need

  • 3 medium potatoes peeled cubed
  • 1/2 head of cabbage, thinly shredded
  • 1 carrot peeled grated
  • 1 medium onion, finely sliced
  • 2 medium raw beets, peeled and grated
  • 250ml tomato sauce
  • 4-5 bay leaves
  • 3-4 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1tsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 can white cannellini beans
  • 4 stems of Parsley
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • Sour cream
  • (Optional for garnish) Parsley, dill
  • 10 cups water

Instructions

  1. First, prepare all the vegetables. 
  2. In a pan over medium heat, put a little bit of oil and soften the carrots and onions. Do not brown them. Remove from the pan from the heat and reserve. Using the same pan, soften the beets for 10 minutes. After that add the tomato sauce and a tsp of water and let simmer for 15 minutes. Add the lemon juice and reserve in another container.
  3. In a large pot put the water, potatoes, bay leaves and a pinch of salt. Cook for 8 minutes. Add cabbage to the pot with the potatoes and cook for 5 minutes. At this point add the beans and the reserved carrots and onion. Bring the mix to a boil then reduce to a simmer.
    After 5 minutes add the reserved beets. Add the garlic, stir and rectify seasoning with salt and pepper as needed; I personally had to add a good 2tbsp of salt. Bring back to a boil but only for 30 seconds then turn off the heat.
  4. Dip the parsley in the soup with the stem pointing up then cover for a minute. Open the lid and discard the parsley.
  5. Let the soup cool down. Once cooled, cover and put it in the fridge overnight, this is where the magic happens.
  6. When reheating, bring it to almost a boiling point but don’t let it boil.
  7. Serve with ~1tbsp of sour cream, optionally add chopped parsley and dill.

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