Wednesday, January 8, 2014
BORSCHT IS NOTHING MORE than a vegetable soup. If you add beef, like I did here, you have a Vegetable Beef Soup. Leave the beef out, use a flavorful vegetable stock, and have a delicious vegetarian soup and I have made it that way many times.
The problem for some is that one of the vegetables is beets which turn this soup into what I think is a melodramatic and lovely hue. I am very attracted to the color and have been since the magenta crayon which was my favorite one in the box when I was a child.
Some family members find Borscht to be alarming; lurid even. Which surprises me because some of the same ones will happily devour a slice of red velvet cake which gets its color from chemical food dye; personally, I find that to be garish.
But that's OK, I just won't make Borscht when they come for dinner. (Or a Red Velvet Cake).
1 lb. beef roast or steak, cut into bite sized pieces
1 large onion, chopped
2 - 3 plump garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 quarts beef broth
2 stalks celery, sliced
3 - 4 carrots, sliced
4 large beets, peeled and sliced
1 russet potato, peeled and cubed
1 small head cabbage, shredded
16 oz. can tomatoes with juice
3 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
1/2 cup chopped, fresh dill
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Olive oil for cooking
Sour cream for garnish
Salt and pepper the beef pieces and brown in a little oil. Push beef aside, add more oil if needed, and cook the onions until beginning to brown. Add the garlic and stir for a couple of seconds. Add the beef stock and bring to a boil; lower heat, cover and simmer for about an hour until beef is tender and broth is very flavorful.
Add the celery, carrots, beets, potato, cabbage, and tomatoes along with some salt and pepper to taste. Simmer until vegetables are tender.
Just before serving, add the red wine and dill and let simmer for a couple of minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings, adding more salt and pepper is needed.
Serve with sour cream.