I have fond memories of drunkenly spooning very large amounts of borscht into my mouth in the kitchen of a hostel in Krakow, Poland. While that borscht came from a box (but it was Poland, so it still counts as real?), it was seriously the best drunk food eveeeeer during the freezing Polish January. I later got some “real” borscht in a Polish Milkbar, but the borscht broth from the box always stuck in my mind.
After some intense Googling, I was inspired to combine the ideas from several recipes and voila! I decided to go with shredding the vegetables to keep everything thin how I like it. While it was a lot of work to do that without a fancy food processor shredder, and I accidentally shredded myself in the process, it was so. worth. it. If you like the veggies bigger in your borscht, by all means forgo the shredding process and just throw ’em in in chunks!
Though some may be intimidated by the bright pink color, believe me, it is yummy. It’s also great to use up those beets in your farm share and in fact, every single vegetable in this arrived in my farm share during the same week. Perfect!
- 1/2 large or 1 small yellow onion, chopped small
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1 pound beets, peeled and shredded
- 2 medium potatoes, peeled and shredded
- 1/2 pound of carrots (about 2 large), shredded
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 1/2 head cabbage (red or white), sliced into small pieces
- 6 cups vegetable stock
- 1/2 tsp. celery seed
- juice of 1 and a half lemons (3ish tablespoons, to taste)
- coarsely ground black pepper
- vegan sour cream, if desired
- Chop the onions and garlic and set aside.
- Shred the beets, potatoes and carrots into a bowl.
- Put the chopped onions and garlic into a large saucepan and saute for 1-2 minutes with the olive oil, be careful not to burn!
- Add the shredded beets, potatoes, and carrots with a pinch of salt and the vegetable broth.
- Stir and bring the mixture to a boil (about 5 minutes).
- While the soup is working up to a boil, chop your cabbage into small pieces.
- When the vegetables are soft and the water is boiling, add the cabbage, and bring to a boil again.
- Once boiling, lower the heat and simmer, covered, for 20-30 minutes.
- Add salt and pepper to taste, then add the lemon juice. The lemon juice really makes this, mmmm.
Serve hot or cold with a dollop of sour cream (if that’s your thing). Delicious! Here’s a close up. Unfortunately I took it during night time or you would see the vibrant pink color a bit better!
According to Wikipedia, “Barszcz in its strictly vegetarian version is the first course during the Christmas Eve feast. It’s served with ravioli-type dumplings called “uszka” (lit. “little ears”) with mushroom filling (sauerkraut can be used as well, again depending on the family tradition). Typically, this version does not include any meat ingredients, although some variants do.”
Methinks I will have to have a go at these “uszka” soon. Also, borscht sounds so much better than what I usually eat for Christmas, mmmm.