“To makea good Borshch takes time, attention and good mood, so make sureyou really feel like cooking it. I have made Borshch maybe athousand times in my life if not more, but every time I needto dedicate 2 hours of my life to it without being disturbed,and even without cooking anything else at the same time.”- Recipe submitted by Oxana Genina of Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine.
Recipe: Ukrainian Borshch
You need (for a 5 to 6-liter pot):
Meat for the broth (pork, or beef, orchicken, better with good bones for rich broth)Or – for lenten (vegetarian) Borshch- kidney beans instead of meatBeetroots (red table beets) – 500gCarrots – 150 to 200 gPotatoes – as much as you like insoups, 2 to 7 medium size potatoesCabbage (white) – 1 medium size headPaprika (any color) – 2 to 3 onesGarlic – approximately 50 g (moreor less, or not at all if you do not like it)Greens – whatever you like (dill, parsley,coriander, basil, sorrel, etc.) in any quantityOnions – 1 big or 2 medium size onesFresh tomatoes – 500 to 600 g (or0.5 l tomato juice)Egg-plants – 200 to 300 g (not necessary,but better be)Sunflower oil – 50 to 60 ml for Borshchwith meat, 150 to 170 ml for vegetarian BorshchSaltSour cream
Boil the meat (time depends on the meat,just make the broth almost ready). The pot should be half-filledwith liquid. For vegetarian Borshch just bring to boil half apot of water and at the same time start to cook the beans ina separate little pot.
Peel and clean all the vegetables. Cutbeetroots in long thin slices (about 2 mm thin) – God forbidsto grate it with a grater! – and put it in the pot. Addsalt. Carrots (sliced same as beetroots) and potatoes (cut inbigger soup pieces) go in the pot in about 30 to 40 minutes afterbeetroots.
Use this time for preparing the rest ofthe vegetables because they take time, and have to be added bythe end one after the other, and should not be overcooked.
When adding new ingredients, try to getrid of the foam that builds up on the surface.
Prepare cabbage, paprika, and garlic -slice them all in little pieces and keep in a big bowl. Cabbagehas to be thin, and it is good to cut its long slices also crosswise(so that it does not hang off the spoon too much, otherwise youmake sounds when you eat it). (Better not use very young greencabbage, it is too soft for Borshch.)
Slice onions and egg-plants in thin slices,prepare tomatoes (extract their juice with a grater and throwaway the skin) or open your tomato juice. Heat up the fryingpan with sunflower oil. Fry the onions till golden color, addegg-plants, fry and stir on medium flame for about 10-12 minutestill soft, then add tomato juice. Bring to boil, cook for 3 to4 minutes.
Add cabbage with paprika and garlic inabout 10-15 minutes after carrots and potatoes. If it is vegetarianBorshch then it is the right time to add the beans (make surethey are ready, if not – do it after your Borshch is ready),drain the beans water first. Bring your Borshch to boil and rightaway add the content of the frying pan (onions, egg-plants andtomato juice). Very important is not to overcook the cabbage!It should not be boiling for over 5 minutes normally, unlessyou like it very soft.
All the greens go in by the very end,1 minute before you turn the flame off.
Serve Borshch with sour cream (1-2 spoonsper plate) but some people do not like it (by my experience about1/4 of Ukrainians and almost all foreigners prefer it without).
- Do not be afraid to have too much cabbagein the pot. Cabbage is actually the main ingredient of real UkrainianBorshch, it should be thick, and grandmothers say that Borshchis good if a spoon stands in it upright. Better make it thick,and if you do not like it you can always add some water and saltlater.
- Borshch tastes MUCH better the next dayand many days after, it will not get spoiled if refrigeratedfor a week and more. Even people who do not like yesterdayssoups really enjoy last weeks Borshch. Thats whyit makes sense to cook even a bigger pot. Just warm up everytime some quantity as you do with any soup.
- Important! Vegetarian Borshch tastes superdelicious when cold. DO NOT warm it up, just add some sour cream.If you still do not like it cold you can always make it warm.
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