Monday 21 January 2013

Borscht Gets Better...

...with age that is.  I made my first ever version of the iconic Slavic soup yesterday and at first was very disappointed. For all the faff of grating beetroot, carrots, onion and celery the end result was a thin and pretty flavorless brew. My hubby was still game for having it for lunch as there is little heating in the shop where he works - I in my warm office skipped it.  He proclaimed it to be much tastier than yesterday though so I warmed it for dinner.

I have to agree it has definitely gained lots from the overnight infusion of the veg in its beefy broth and even the gentle spicing from allspice, pepper and garlic has been brought to the fore and the vinegar now gives a pleasant zingy sharpness right where it's needed.  I suspect it will be even better tomorrow.
If you want to give it a go it's actually quite simple.

Grate 4 small beetroot, 1 large carrot, 1 large onion and 1stick of celery and soften in a little butter.
Add 1 clove of chopped garlic, 3 bay leaves, and a pinch of allspice.
Add one can of chopped tomatoes and 2 pints of stock (beef or veg) and simmer for 20 mins or until veg is fully tender.  
Add 2 tablespoons of red wine or sherry vinegar.
Season to taste but traditionally it has lots of pepper.
Serve the next day ideally to allow flavours to fully develop with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkling of dill or parsley.

Healthy and restorative and perfect for the snowy weather - and probably even better with the traditional shot of vodka although that would blow the health benefits!!

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