It would be wrong to say that it’s an authentic dish of a certain cuisine because so many countries have own variation of borsch. It can be cooked or called different ways, different ingredients can be used. What is important, the dish is always nutritionally-sound.
In Ukraine there are a lot of people who love borsch. Also there are as many recipes of it. This recipe of Ukrainian borsch was in books for chefs in 1950-1960. It’s considered that preparing the soup this way makes it the most nutritious.
Ingredients for 3 quart pan:
For soup base:
500 g meat
300 g cabbage
500 g potatoes
1-2 bay leaves
black pepper, to taste
salt, to taste
For soup mixture:
3-4 tbsp. vegetable oil (margarine or shortening)
75 g tomato paste
½ cup water
For bright flavor:
red, yellow and green sweet pepper
fresh dill, parsley and green onion
The amount of ingredients can be changed depending on your taste.
Put meat in cold water in a pan and bring it to a boil. Right before the stock starts boiling, skim the foam from the surface. Add some salt, pepper, bay leaves. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until meat is cooked.
Meanwhile prepare soup mixture. Heat oil in a medium sized sauce pot. Add minced onion and shredded carrot. Cook until the onions are just translucent, about 3-4 minutes. Add peeled and shredded beet, stir in tomato paste and water. Bring it to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer the mixture for 10-15 minutes.
While the soup base is getting ready and the soup mixture is simmering, prepare the rest of vegetables and herbs. Cut into strips the cabbage and pepper. Chop parsley, dill and green onion.
Peel potatoes, cut into bite-size cubes and add to the broth. Bring it to a boil and then turn the heat to medium high. Add salt if needed. Then potato is completely cooked, add cabbage and mixture of sweet peppers and bring it to a boil. Add soup mixture, mix well and add salt if needed. Add herbs, bring to a boil one more time. Turn off the heat, but keep the lid on, and let the pot sit on the stove (with the heat off) for 10-15 minutes.
Borsch needs some times to let the flavors meld together. Serve with a dollop of sour cream or mayonnaise and garlic dinner rolls.
By the way, borsch is one of few dishes that taste better on the following day.
Translation by Oksana Iocco