When I was a child my family lived for a time in a small town situated on the shores of Lake Winnipeg about two hours North of Winnipeg city itself. I have really lovely memories of the time that we lived there. The first house that we lived in was a duplex bungalow. Our neighbors on the one side were the Dukemon (not sure about the spelling) family and Mr Dukemon often made this soup. Borscht. On the days that he made this the amazing aroma of it would waft over to our house . . . it smelled amazingly delicious. I never got to actually taste it, but the smell of it was pretty tantalizing to my tiny tastebuds. Yes. I was a foodie even then.
Flash forward to the age of nineteen and I was invited over to a friend's home for supper. They were a family with Ukrainian roots and guess what the first course was? You guessed it Borscht! I finally got to taste what I had been dreaming about for all of those years!
It was love at first bite. Totally gorgeous. The flavours were amazing. They also served these delicious meatballs called Kotlecky which were so very delicious . . . but today we are talking about Borscht. We'll save the Kotlecky for another time.
Borscht has a beautiful colour . . . ruby red . . . . and it's just plain delicious . . . slightly sweet . . . healthy and fortifyingly hearty. With lots of texture from the different vegetables used. You can grate the carrots and the beetroot of course, but I like to keep them julienned so you can see what you are eating. My favourite way to serve it is with a crusty whole wheat bread . . . and a nice dollop of tangy sour cream . . .
which makes the most beautiful patterns in the soup as it begins to melt into that rich and earthy ruby red tastiness. If you have never tried Borscht, you quite simply must indulge yourself. This is a soup that really should be on your bucket list of things you want to eat/try/taste before you die.
I love Borscht. It is a delicious heart warming and comfort in a bowl. I like to serve it with some crusty wheat bread.
1 TBS sugar1 tsp paprika
1 tsp butter2 TBS olive oil
Melt the butter along with the olive oil in a large saucepan. Add the onion and celery. Cook, stirring occasionally, over medium heat until they begin to soften. Add the beets, carrots, garlic and 1 tsp salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about another five minutes. Add the paprika, ground coriander, sugar and lemon juice, Stir well through, then add the stock, potatoes, cabbage and tomatoes, along with the bay leaves and a good grinding of pepper. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a slow simmer and cover. Cook over low heat for a further 30 to 35 minutes, until all of the vegetables are tender. Chop the dill and stir it in, reserving a few bits to garnish. Take off the heat, cover and set aside for about 10 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning as required with salt and more pepper if need be. Serve ladled into heated bowls along with a dollop of sour cream on top of each serving and a sprinkle of dill weed.
Of course the tomatoes I like to use for this are Cirio chopped tomatoes in tomato juice. Why? Coz they are the best and I love them. I know. I always say that, but . . . it's true and when I find ingredients that I really, I just hafta share.