Sunday, September 27, 2009

Salt Spring Centre Borscht

This is a very basic Borscht - and 0 mile diet, using onions, potatoes, beets, and cabbage that all grow very easily here on the coast. I love the sound of the name 'borscht' - such an earthy, peasant ring to it. This recipe is from Salt Spring Island Cooking: Vegetarian Recipes from the Salt Spring Centre , by Rodney Polden & Pamela Thornley- which is currently out of print, published in 1993, but is available used: ( a highly recommended book!) There are two recipes: one can serve a horde of people, and the other is family sized. Here's the family sized recipe which serves 4 - 6 people: 3 Tb. oil 1 cup chopped leeks, or onions 2 1/2 cups chopped beets 2 1/2 cups chopped potatoes 2 1/2 cups chopped cabbage 2 tsp. honey juice of 1 lemon (optional) 1/2 tsp sea salt 1/4 tsp black pepper 1 tsp dillweed 5 cups water or soup stock if you have them, you can add chopped beet greens at the end of the cooking Saute the leeks, beets, cabbage, and potatoes, stirring, for 5 minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients and simmer, covered, for at least 30 minutes. Garnish each serving with a dollop of sour cream and a sprig of fennel if you wish. It's particularly nice to sprinkle a little fresh fennel leaf over top. I was surprised to read about all the different kinds of Borscht there are -some with meat, some with tomatoes, some made without any beets at all - originally, Borscht was a fermented grain soup, usually wheat bran, from Romania. There is the pretty pink Borscht from Lithuania, eaten cold and served with a boiled potato, or the Polish Christmas Eve soup served with little mushroom raviolis (uszka). The Borscht I make is of the typical Russian variety - if you like it thicker, you can add some toasted flour - mix with a bit of the hot soup, then whisk it back in. I like this story about Bubbe's Borscht:

1 comment:

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