Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Borscht No. 1

Admit it. This is what you've been waiting for. Borscht! Beautiful, filling, delightful borscht: the Monarch of Soups.

Er, okay...maybe not. But it is delicious.

Borscht No. 1
                                                        Yield: 6 - 8 servings

This borscht requires the use of black garlic which lends a somewhat beefy flavour to the broth.

Borscht with soured cream

4 small beets, about 3 - 5 cm. (1.5 - 2") in diameter
1 carrot
1 medium-sized red potato
1/2 cup red onion, diced
1 cup grated purple cabbage
2 cloves black garlic, finely chopped
4 sprigs fresh dill
3 - 5 cups chicken stock or water from steaming vegatables
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar or lemon juice
freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup commercial soured cream

Beets, carrot, potato, black garlic and purple cabbage

1. Thoroughly scrub beets, potato and carrot under running water to remove sand and debris. Remove any wilted or discoloured tops and roots. Place whole beets in the basket of a food steamer or pressure cooker. Steam vegetables. If using a pressure cooker, follow the user manual. Otherwise, when a fork can easily pierce a beet to the centre, turn heat off. Remove vegetables to a heat-proof container and set aside to cool. Reserve fluid from steamer to use in this borscht preparation, or else store for later use.

Steam rises off the beets, carrot
 and potato cooked in a pressure cooker

2. When beets, potato and carrot are cool enough to handle, slip the peels away. Dice. Reserve. 

Diced beets, carrot and potato

3. Place peeled and diced red onion in the soup pot together with diced black garlic, whole sprigs of dill and 3 cups of chicken stock (or the liquid of your choice). cover. Bring to boil, then reduce heat to simmer for 5 minutes.

Black garlic and fresh dill

4.  Add diced beets, potato and carrot. Bring to boil, then reduce heat to simmer for 5 minutes to enable flavours to mingle.

5. Add grated purple cabbage. Raise to boiling point, then reduce heat to simmer for 10 minutes.

Purple cabbage cooking in the beet mixture

6. Remove from heat. Add freshly ground black pepper to your taste. Add red wine vinegar or lemon juice. Stir.

7. Ladle into bowls. Top each bowl of borscht with a tablespoon of soured cream.

You will want second servings. 

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