Saturday, September 26, 2009


Come fall, I make soup every weekend. This ritual continues until summertime. I make enough to last the week to eat for lunches. This afternoon I made borscht soup. I used some of the vegetables that I have picked from my own garden. Borscht soup is a staple of eastern and central European countries. Borscht was introduced into North America by way of Russian, Polish and Ukrainian immigrants. I scanned a number of internet sites related to borscht recipes and I counted 13 different nationalities and their version of borscht soup. Borscht can be eaten hot or cold; some recipes include beets while others don't; some recipes include cabbage; and, some recipes use a beef or chicken stock.

I didn't follow an exact recipe for the borscht but based it on previous recipes I have made and advice from a girlfriend who made it several times this summer using garden produce. I decided to make a borscht without beets. Adding sauerkraut to borscht is new for me, I used to add lemon juice to give it a bit of zing.

1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 tsp minced garlic
3 stalks of celery, chopped
5 carrots, chopped
3 small potatoes, chopped
2 parsnips, chopped
1/3 head of cabbage, chopped
1 cup sauerkraut
5 tomatoes, quartered
1/2 cup fresh dill, finely chopped
12 cups water
4 tsp low salt chicken bouillon
pepper to taste

In a large stock pot, on medium heat, saute the onions and minced garlic in the olive oil. After a few minutes add the celery and continue sauteing for a few more minutes. Add the carrots, potatoes, parsnips and cabbage. Saute for a few minutes and if the vegetables are sticking, add a bit of water. Add the water, chicken bouillon, tomatoes, pepper and sauerkraut. Turn the heat to high and once it starts to boil, turn the heat down to simmer. If the soup is too thick, add a bit more water. Cook for about 90 minutes and towards the end, add the chopped dill. If it needs a bit more zing, add more sauerkraut. Bon appetite.

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