Hungarian Borscht

Wednesday 9 March 2016

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When I was a child my family lived for a time in a small town situated on the shores of Lake Winnipeg about  two hours North of Winnipeg city itself.  I have really lovely memories of the time that we lived there.  The first house that we lived in was a duplex bungalow.  Our neighbors on the one side were the Dukemon (not sure about the spelling) family and Mr Dukemon often made this soup.  Borscht.  On the days that  he made this the amazing aroma of it would waft over to our house . . .  it smelled amazingly delicious.  I never got to actually taste it, but the smell of it was pretty tantalizing to my tiny tastebuds. Yes.  I was a foodie even then.

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Flash forward to the age of nineteen and I was invited over to a friend's home for supper. They were a family with Ukrainian roots and guess what the first course was?  You guessed it Borscht!  I finally got to taste what I had been dreaming about for all of those years!

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It was love at first bite.  Totally gorgeous.  The flavours were amazing.  They also served these delicious meatballs called Kotlecky which were so very delicious . . .  but today we are talking about Borscht.  We'll save the Kotlecky for another time.

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Borscht has a beautiful colour  . . . ruby red . . . .  and  it's just plain delicious . . .  slightly sweet . . . healthy and fortifyingly hearty.  With lots of texture from the different vegetables used.  You can grate the carrots and the beetroot of course, but I like to keep them julienned so you can see what you are eating.  My favourite way  to serve it is with a crusty whole wheat bread . . .  and a nice dollop of tangy sour cream . . .

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 which makes the most beautiful patterns in the soup as it begins to melt into that rich and earthy ruby red tastiness.  If you have never tried Borscht, you quite simply must indulge yourself.  This is a soup that really should be on your bucket list of things you want to eat/try/taste before you die. 

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Serves 4
I love Borscht.  It is a delicious heart warming and comfort in a bowl.  I like to serve it with some crusty wheat bread. 

1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
1 stick celery, finely chopped
3 mdium beetroot (beets), peeled and julienned
1 large carrot, peeled and juilienned
3 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes
1/4 medium white cabbage, thinly sliced
1.4 litre vegetable stock (6 1/2 cups)
1 tin of chopped tomatoes in juice (400g or 14 ounces)
1 TBS sugar
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp ground coriander
3 TBS lemon juice
1 12 tsp sea salt
2 bay leaves
1 tsp butter
2 TBS olive oil
black pepper to taste
a bunch of fresh dill weed
225g sour cream to serve (1 cup)

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Melt the butter along with the olive oil in a large saucepan.  Add the onion and celery.  Cook, stirring occasionally, over medium heat until they begin to soften.  Add the beets, carrots, garlic and 1 tsp salt.   Cook, stirring occasionally, for about another five minutes.   Add the paprika, ground coriander, sugar and  lemon juice,   Stir well through, then add the stock, potatoes, cabbage and tomatoes, along with the bay leaves and a good grinding of pepper.  Bring to the boil, then reduce to a slow simmer and cover.  Cook over low heat for a further 30 to 35 minutes, until all of the vegetables are tender.  Chop the dill and stir it in, reserving a few bits to garnish.   Take off the heat, cover and set aside for about 10 minutes.  Taste and adjust seasoning as required with salt and more pepper if need be.   Serve ladled into heated bowls along with a dollop of sour cream on top of each serving and a sprinkle of dill weed.

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Of course the tomatoes I like to use for this are Cirio chopped tomatoes in tomato juice.   Why?  Coz they are the best and I love them.  I know.  I always say that, but  . . .  it's true and when I find ingredients that I really, I just hafta share.

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  1. What a wonderful, vibrant colour! This soup must be delicious and comforting...perfect for these end of winter evenings! Cheers, Mary

    1. It's gorgeous to look at and to eat Mary. I will miss Winter soups, but looking forward to all the delicious in the Spring days ahead! xo

  2. LOVE THE COLOR! Never had one Marie..I will:)

    1. The colour is second only to the taste Monique! It was gorgeous and so healthy. It was a feast for the eyes and the stomach! xo

  3. That colour is so very inviting that I can hardly resist licking the screen. It does sound like a beautiful, healthy soup with all those luscious veggies in it. I will add this to my list for next week. I honestly could live on soup (and bread).

    1. Oh, me too Marie! I hope you like it as much as we do! xo

  4. If you like beets you'll love borscht. I've been making ukrainian borscht a lot this winter. I use a recipe given me by Doukhoubors, Canadians can relate to that. Fresh dill makes all the difference. A wonderful vegetarian meal.

  5. Hi Angharad! I know of the Doukhoubors! I saw them when I was living out West in Alberta. Plenty of those other ones too, I forget what they are called at the moment. Fresh dill is lovely! I would LOVE to see your recipe! xo


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