Borscht, or borsch is a hearty beetroot vegetable soup considered to originate from Ukraine or Western Russia. The soup is part of the local culinary heritage of many Eastern and Central European nations. It is also a staple dish in Eastern Europe, and made its way into United States cuisine by way of Jewish immigrants (as well as other Eastern Europeans).
Recipes of borscht vary, but beetroot is an essential ingredient.
- 1½ cups thinly sliced potatoes (about 3 small potatoes)
- 1 cup thinly sliced beets.
- 4 cups water
- 1-2 tablespoons butter
- 1½ cups chopped onion (about ⅓ of a large onion)
- 1½ teaspoons salt
- 1 stalk celery, chopped
- 1 medium carrot, chopped
- 3 to 4 cups shredded cabbage (about ⅓ of a large cabbage)
- a little fresh ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon Dill weed
- 1 to 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
- 1 to 2 tablespoons brown sugar or honey
- 1 cup Tomato purée or ¼ to ½ cup tomato paste
- Place the potatoes, beets, and water in a medium-sized saucepan. Cover and cook over medium heat until tender (20-30 minutes). While that is cooking, do steps 2-3.
- Melt the butter in a Dutch oven/soup pot. Add the onion and salt. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent (8 to 10 minutes).
- Add the celery, carrots, cabbage, and two cups of the water in which the potatoes and beets are cooking. Cover and cook over medium heat until the vegetables are tender (8 to 10 minutes).
- Add the remaining soup ingredients (including the potatoes, beets, and the rest of the water in which they are cooking). Cover and simmer for at least 15 more minutes. Correct the seasonings. If it is too thin, let it simmer uncovered, and maybe add a little more tomato paste.
- Serve hot, topped with sour cream or yoghurt and sprinkled with dill. (If desired the sour cream or yoghurt can be served with the soup and used as a condiment to taste.)
Serves about 6.
Notes, tips, and variations
- Sour environment is essential for the authentic taste and preservation of the red color, but excessive amount of acetic acid from the vinegar (esp. distilled) causes sharp restaurant smell and taste. The cider vinegar can be replaced with sauerkraut or extra tomatoes.
- Ukrainian Cabbage Soup (Kapusniak)
- Montreal Russian Borscht