Borscht is both mine and my husband's favourite soup. Borscht is traditionally made from a beef broth with potatoes, white cabbage, onion, carrot, beetroot, tomatoes, and beef; and served with crème fraiche, dill and garlic. In this soup all the vegetables are shredded or cut, not mashed like in many Europeans pureed soups.
Suitable: Gaps, Paleo, Primal, SCD
Allergies: No nuts, No seeds, No dairy, No eggs
In Russia it’s commonly believed that Borscht is a beetroot soup, originally Ukrainian, and Schi is a Russian cabbage soup. However, because our nations were so close for over a thousand years no one can say exactly who owns the right of origin to Borscht while everyone agrees that Schi is Russian. To continue (link)
This particular recipe will need 2 big pots around 6-7 litres: one is for making broth the other is for making soup. If for some reason you cannot fit all the vegetables into one pot, it is not a problem just put the rest in a smaller pot, 1.5 litres. Bring to the boil and eat as normal or freeze.
For Borscht and meat broth:
1 Large Pot, 6-7 liters
For the beef broth:
1 kg /2.2 lb beef
4-6 bone marrow pieces
4 litres of water
2 tb sp of salt
For the Borscht:
4 medium size beetroot
2 small white cabbage
3-4 medium size carrot
2-3 medium size onion
3 litres beef broth
6-8 medium size chopped tomatoes (possibly tinned 800gr/1.7lb)
200gr/7 oz/0.5 lb ghee
1 medium size celeriac
2-3 gloves garlic
5-6 tb sp apple vinegar or 10-12 tb sp fermented veg juice
5-6 bay leaves
dill (as used in Russia) or coriander if dill not available
Preparation time: 30-40 min
Cooking time: Borscht 1 hour
Cooking time: broth 3.5 hours
Serves: 8-10 people
Wash all the vegetables
Peel beetroot, celeriac, garlic and onions
Cut celeriac very small, like for fine chips
tomatoes finely. Divide into 2 parts
Put meat, bone marrow and water in to 6-7 litre pot and put it on the hob.
Set to maximum temperature. It takes around 10-15 min to boil. Add all salt and reduce the temperature to low or very low, but the liquid must be simmering. Cook for further 3-3.5 hours.
After 3-3.5 hours take the meat and bone marrow out of the pot.
See making beef broth (link)
Pour the broth through the sieve in to the other 6-7 litre pot
Leave 3 litres of broth in the pot. Put the extra broth into another container (link)
Add celeriac into the broth and bring to the boil on a high flame, after it starts boiling reduce the temperature to low
After it has simmered for 10 min add all the shredded cabbage
Simmer for 20 min
Melt 100 gr/3.5oz of ghee in the pan, add all the beetroot, fry for 5 mins, stir every 2-3 min, add 100ml/3.4oz of broth
Fry on a medium/medium low heat for a further 15 min, stir every 2-3 min
Add half of the chopped tomatoes and 100ml/3.4oz of broth
Fry for a further 10 mins, stir every 2-3 mins. Add vinegar and stir
Melt 100 gr/3.5oz of ghee in the pan add all the carrot and onion, fry for 5 mins, stir every 2-3 mins, add 100ml/3.4oz of broth
Fry on a medium/medium low further 15 min, stir every 2-3 mins
Add the other half of chopped tomatoes and 100ml/3.4oz of broth
Fry further for 10 min, stir every 2-3 min
After beef cooled down for 30 min cut it into bite pieces
Add chopped meat into the pot with celeriac and cabbage
Add bay leaves
Add carrot, onion, tomatoes into the pot with beef, celeriac and cabbage.
Stir thoroughly throughout. Cook for 4-5 mins
Add beetroot into the pot with all the other ingredients
Bring to the boil, stirring thoroughly. Taste Borscht, if necessary add salt or vinegar. Immediately it boils, switch off the hob and move the pot away from the heat.
It is important that all the vegetables should be properly cooked before putting it all together, otherwise the soup may not last. Total minimum cooking time
Celeriac 40 min, cabbage 30 min, beetroot 30 min, carrot and onion 25 min.
After adding fully cooked beetroot, do not boil the soup longer than 2-3 min once it has boiled, because if you do the soup will lose its colour. It must be very, very red!!!!!!!!
If the soup has lost it colour, it is not a problem taste wise, it is still will be very tasty and full and goodness.
People cook soups differently: some like it thin with more broth, others thicker with more vegetables, and of course there are many in between who make it medium thickness. Some people like a lot of cabbage, others a lot of beetroot. My husband and I prefer it very thick with a lot of cabbage and beetroot, but not much celeriac. My mum likes it very thin without too much beetroot and vinegar. It is just a matter of taste. You can try to cook it with different proportions of vegetables and decide for yourself.
This soup is served hot, is very filling, and is a perfect meal for the cold autumn and winter months. Originally in Russia it was a starter, but because it is so filling my husband and I eat it for dinner on its own.
For the purpose of a healthy diet I have replaced potatoes with celeriac, which fits in very well. Celeriac gives borscht a slightly stronger taste, but goes great with the rest of the vegetables.
When I first came to England I used to cook it almost every Saturday as a special treat for our friends and family. People liked it very much, always asking for more. It is mine and my husband’s favourite soup too. At the moment we eat it 4 evenings per week. We concluded that our bodies digest soup more easily than a full meal and decided to have soup as an evening meal. Why make your body work harder than it has to? Of course my husband, being a real gourmet, became bored with eating the same soup over and over again. He tried it with grated cheese instead of crème fraiche and liked it greatly. This dish I have called “Borscht a la Paul”; you can try it this way too.
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