10 November 2010

Bodacious Borscht (and a wee confession...)

First, the confession -- I ate all the leeks in the curried veggie fried rice!  That was my dinner today, but my husband has the camera and he is out hiking, so I'll have to do a curry post on another day. 

Meanwhile, from the Crabby Vaults, may I present, Bodacious Borscht:  

with beetroot

I can't believe this is the only picture of borscht I have!  (That's a lame glob of soy yoghurt in the middle of the borscht, BTW.)

Anyway, here's what you need:

  • Shredded beetroots (I use 4-8 pre-cooked plain -- no sugar or vinegar -- they are easy to shred, otherwise if you use fresh ones, cube them)
  • tin of chopped tomatoes (optional, but highly recommended)
  • chopped onion (I chop it into 1/2-hoop slices)
  • 2-4 shredded carrots (or just choppped, if you don't have a food-processor to shred them for you)
  • 1/2-1 head shredded or finely chopped white or green cabbage
  • 2 stalks chopped celery
  • 1 chopped and rinsed leek (optional)
  • lemon juice
  • red wine (optional)
  • cider vinegar (any vinegar, but cider is my fave)
  • dill (fresh is best, but dried will do)
  • 2 bay leaves (per giant pot)
  • salt
  • several black peppercorns or a few grinds of freshly ground black pepper
  • oil
  • margarine (non-hydrogenated)
  • water
  • optional: celery seed, chopped parsley, vegan yoghurt or vegan sour cream

  • Plop a TBSP or so of margarine and a glug of oil (I use grapeseed because it has a higher burning temperature) in the bottom of a pot and heat.
  • Toss in your shredded carrots and onions and fry 'em until they are nice and mushy
  • Toss in the celery, cabbage, and leek (if you are using a leek), stir them around for a couple minutes.
  • Toss in the beets and add water, juice of 1/2 to one lemon (might as well toss the lemon in, too, just take it out before serving), a few glugs of red wine, and a couple glugs of cider vinegar (take it easy and do a few taste tests during cooking if you are worried about it being too sour)
  • Stir
  • Toss in the tinned tomatoes
  • Stir
  • Add the bay leaves (remove before serving.  or not.), dill, salt, peppercorns, and any other spices you fancy throwing in (like the aforementioned optional celery salt).  But please, be generous with the salt and dill.
  • Stir
  • Cook for 1 & 1/2 hours on a low simmer.

Serve hot or cold, optionally with a dollop of vegan yoghurt or vegan sour cream and a dash of dill or chopped fresh parsley.

This is enough for a honkin' big pot of soup. I usually skip the parsley and use a lot of dill.  Also, I've seen some versions that omit the tomato, some versions that add potato (I didn't like this one as much, personally), some versions that blend it all up, and some versions that strain everything and just make a dark broth.  They are all pretty delicious.