Sunday, October 5, 2008

Crazy ass Borscht recipe

So I innocently search the web for vegetarian Borscht recipes, and Sergei Svetloff's Authentic Russian Borscht Cabbage Beet Soup Recipe catches my eye. It had more steps to it than the other recipes I'd seen, so I thought it might be more authentic or something and wanted to try it out.

Dude, it took forever. Ok, maybe not forever, but way way longer than I figured a soup aught to take. It also dirtied up 4 or more dishes, since you have to saute the vegetables separately, and then set them aside. And there were weird instructions, like sticking tomato paste into a hot saute pan with veggies, without even adding liquid. I kept wondering if there was some bad translation going on or something.

In the end, however, it make a damned fine soup.

I probably won't do it exactly this way in the future, but I did learn a few things that I'll keep. The biggest was to cook down the peeled beet skin and tips into broth for the soup. Nice way to stretch the veggie and get the most nutrition out of it as well. Also -- there seems to be a big deal made about not boiling the broth once the vinegar is added. Interesting.

So, if you are feeling adventurous, follow these directions to the letter and see what you can come up with. I'd love to hear what folks think.

Enjoy trying out labor-intensive foreign recipes just for the hell of it,


[photo via Taste of Europe website]


stingite said...

Don't you feel at the end of a recipe like this that you should have it entered into some kind of a contest so you can collect your blue ribbon and the accolades of the judges?

Anonymous said...

Wierd convergence of culinary planets, I guess -- I was strangely drawn to 5 cute beets at the farmers' market yesterday. Turns out, as I was cooking them up (for a much simpler version of borscht) they were white inside...yes, they ARE so beets. to the little surprises, time-consuming and otherwise! va momma

Kate said...

the tomato paste bit you were wondering about...from what I know, it's to caramelize the sugars in it, just like you would with onions =)
and I *love* borscht....will have to try this recipe.

Erin G. said...

Funny, just this last tuesday, I was craving Borscht soup... and couldn't find it. I think this is the world telling me that I need to make it myself. Thanks for the recipe.

Bpaul said...

Kate -- it certainly does carmelize the paste, but you have to be super careful not to scald it, and you have to have some kind of liquid handy to deglaze the pan with or some gets wasted.

Erin G. Welcome to the site! I didn't know you were reading this, that's awesome.