As I mentioned in the last post, the days are getting chilly. So what’s better to warm and soothe the soul than a hearty soup? In this case, I turned it into a stew by not adding much water and letting it simmer for a long time. But this meant that the veggies were crazy tender.
So. Borshch. You may be wondering “WTF IS THIS BORSCHCHSCHCSHHSCCSHHCHSCHSCH?” Good question. Essentially it’s a beet soup. You can look it up here if you’re ultra interested. This recipe is from my mama. She makes it chunky (therefore I made it chunky), but I’ve had it where the beets (and carrots and potatoes) are shredded really finely. I’ve also had it where it excludes carrots and potatoes completely… but that’s not as tasty. Also, you’ll notice that I use canned beans and canned mushrooms… that’s because that’s what my Ma uses. You could easily cook fresh mushrooms and cook your own beans (any beans work. I love the cans of mixed beans because I’m indecisive).
One more note, you’ll notice that the amounts aren’t super precise. Such is the nature of family recipes. Onto the recipe!
MAMA’S BORSHCH: (makes one HUGE pot… serves 10)
- 1 can mixed beans
- 1 can mushrooms
- 4-6 beets, chopped into 1/2 inch cubes
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2-4 medium carrots, chopped
- 2-3 medium potatoes, chopped into 1/2 inch cubes
- handful green beans
- 1 1/2 tomato liquid (Squished tomatoes, pasta sauce, V8, tomato juice, any tomato base!)
- 4-6 cups water or vegetable broth
- 1-2 cups frozen peas
- heaping tablespoon dill
- white vinegar (optional)
Put everything into a HUGE pot (except the frozen peas and dill). Make sure you use enough water or vegetable broth to cover all the chopped veggies.
On medium-low heat, let simmer for about 90 minutes (or until the beets, carrots and potatoes are reeeeeal tender). The longer you let it simmer, the more stew like it will become! Add the frozen peas and dill and let simmer for another 20-ish minutes. (WOW forgive me how vague this is, it’s hard to put into words what I do by eating…)
To serve, dish out large helpings into bowl. My family likes to add 1/2 teaspoon of white vinegar to our borshch to add some tartness. It is wonderful and I suggest it!
This soup freezes really well. So if you’re cooking for only yourself (like me!), then cook up a big pot and freeze some servings in baggies or tupperwear. It’s wonderfully convenient!