This soup is a traditional soup that is common in many Eastern European countries. I know this due my sister in law. In 2003 I met her and her family in Drohobych in Lviv Oblast. It was also the first time I came into contact with Ukrainian cuisine. The first thing I received was Borsch, it was a soup full of flavor and vegetables.
It’s weird to talk about it now because it seems so long ago.
I have never tried borsch before, but because I had all the ingredients, it seems to be the perfect time to try it. It is already a very red soup, but instead of green cabbage and white onions I used red cabbage and red onions. It made the soup even darker. I can see why it is such a traditional dish in eastern Europe. It’s so easy and cheap to make and so healthy.
This recipe may not be so welcome in households with picky eaters. Mostly because of the color. I do not know about you and your family but in my family there are many visual picky eaters. Meaning that they only try things that look good for them, no matter how it tastes. This soup is really good and I think my whole family likes it, but I will not make it more beautiful and tell it than it is. However, I got my sister so much to try it when I told her about the soure cream that goes on top of it. You understand, she’s crazy about soure cream. I think she would eat a bowl if we let her go. She loved the soup becoming pink when you stirred in it. She really liked the soup.
It’s a little time consuming (at least 2 hours). If you are limited in time, halve them by 1 hour, using canned beans with their juice. I used fresh beets from the supermarket.
I love the deep ruby red color of this borsch! It is so healthy and nutritious; With beans (protein), beets (iron), carrots (carotene), potatoes (Vit C, Potassium, Vit B6), Cabbage (Vit K, Vit C, Fiber, etc.).
I hope you enjoy this recipe.
Ingredients for classic Ukrainian Borsch:
2 large or 3 medium sized red beets, wash well.
2 large or 3 medium sized potatoes, cut into bite pieces.
4 tablespoons bake oil.
1 medium large red onion, finely chopped.
3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped.
2 grated carrots
1/2 red cabbage, thinly sliced
1 can of red kidney beans with their juice.
2 laurel leaves
10 cups of water
6 cups of chicken broth
5 tablespoons ketchup
4 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon of fresh pepper (black)
1 tablespoon finely chopped dill.
How to make Borsch Soup:
1. Fill a large pan with 10 cups of water. Add 2 – 3 beets. Cover the pan with a lid and cook for about 1 hour (some beets last longer, some shorter. It depends on how old the beets are). As soon as you can pierce the beetles with a butterfly, remove the beets from the water and let them cool off. Store the water for the soup.
2. Paste 3 potatoes and put them in the same pan of the beets and cook for 15-20 minutes.
3. Put the carrots and finely chopped red onion and garlic cloves together with 4 tablespoons of baking oil in the frying pan and sauté the vegetables until soft (7-10 minutes). Stir the ketchup when they are almost ready to cook.
4. Meanwhile, cut the 1/2 cabbage (I use a mandolin cutter) and add to the pan with the potatoes when they are half cooked.
5. Then peel the beets and cut them into slices and paste them back into the pan with potatoes and red cabbage (I use my mandolin cutter). When peeling beetles, use a plastic bag over your hands unless you want red fingers.
6. Add 6 cups of chicken broth, lemon juice, pepper, bay leaf and can of kidney beans (with their juice) to the pan.
7. Add the carrots and onion and garlic into the pan together with the chopped dill.
8. Cook another 5-10 minutes until the cabbage is ready. Season with salt and pepper. I usually do not add unless I use a low sodium broth.
Serve the soup with a tablespoon soure cream or mayonnaise.