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BORSCHT

The national dish of Ukraine that undeniably originates from the country is borscht

Despite most people associating this recipe with Russia, borscht, or as it is properly pronounced borsch, is actually Ukrainian. Yes, there is no ‘t’ at the end of the word.

A Borscht recipe is something every home should have, regardless if you’re Ukrainian or not. This traditional Ukrainian borscht combines the earthiness of beets with the freshness of dill and other vegetables. A hearty, healthy and frugal way to use up your garden vegetables and stretch your food budget while filling your family’s bellies this fall!

One of my favorite things about Borscht is the deep ruby color that comes from the cabbage and beets! I also love that it’s incredibly healthy and packed with protein (from the broth and optional meat), iron (from the beets), vitamin C, potassium and vitamin B6 (from the carrots) plus fiber and vitamin K & C (from the cabbage).

 

Because we come from a lineage of Ukrainian peasants who had to survive harsh Eastern European winters with nothing more than the few staple food items they had on hand (wheat, potatoes, cabbage and beets mostly), our traditional foods tend to feature these ingredients over and over again in various ways.

Borscht definition: a beet-based soup that can be combined with whatever else you’ve got growing in your garden to create a hearty, healthy meal that also stretches your food budget and weekly meals just a little bit further.

In the late summer and fall, there is almost always a pot of borscht simmering away on my mother’s stovetop as she makes use of the beets, carrots, potatoes and fresh dill weed that need harvesting from her garden. If it’s green bean season, she’ll throw some chopped green beans in the soup as well. If not, she’ll make do with whatever ingredients she has on hand (this also makes it a great “clean out the fridge” recipe).

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup of diced celery
  • 1 cup diced onions
  • 1 cup of chopped cabbage
  • 2 cloves of garlic grated or pressed
  • 1 tbsp of butter for sautéing onions and celery
  • 8 cups water beef broth or chicken broth
  • 1 can diced tomatoes home or commercially canned
  • 2 or 3 medium to large sized peeled beets half grated and half diced
  • 1 or 2 medium carrots grated
  • 1 medium potato diced
  • 1/2 cup of fresh dill weed
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional ingredients: Bay leaf green beans, peas, beet greens and shredded pork or pork sausage

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Sauté the onions, celery and cabbage with the butter until soft and translucent.
  • Add the can of diced tomatoes and the garlic, as well as all of the water or broth.
  • Bring to a boil over medium high heat, then reduce to medium heat and let simmer.
  • Peel the beets, carrots and potato.
  • Dice half the beets and grate the other half.
  • Grate all the carrots.
  • Dice the potato.
  • Add the beets, carrots and potato to the broth. If you would like to add any other optional vegetables (ie. beans, peas, beet greens, etc.) do so now.
  • Allow soup to simmer on medium until diced beets and potatoes are soft (test them with a fork or by biting into them!), about 15 minutes. Remove soup from heat.
  • Stir in chopped fresh dill weed and salt and black pepper.
  • Serve hot with a dollop of sour cream and a slice of bread and butter (rye bread is best!)

If you’ve never tried it please make sure to ask for it when you travel to the Ukraine

Spotted in www.melissaknorris.com

 

 

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