Jan 9, 2010


i saw nice big beets in the shop yesterday and borscht came to mind. i bought two kilos because if you make a mess, a slightly bigger mess isn't that much harder to clean up...

started by peeling the whole bunch. in this dry winter weather it paid to wear surgical gloves, no bright red fingers!

i love that shade of red. on beets, that is, not on me, the wall, my clothes or the rug on the floor

now the mess part... took out my kenwood processor for the grating part. i would have only needed 1 kg of beets for this soup but it pays to grate more

besides having enough for the soup today, i got two 500 gr bags to freeze for later use. only one mess but three borschts (what a mouthfull that word is!)

it's also worthwhile to pay very close attention when working with kitchen appliances... i meant to grate the carrots with the same blade as the beets, but certain someone had something very important (not!) to tell and i left the kitchen for a minute.

when i got back, i put the blade on, fixed the lid and 5 seconds later i had sliced carrots. i'm rather proud of myself on not shouting and cursing out loud, instead i counted to 50 by which time i had figured what to do with the sliced carrots. took a knife and kinda chopped them into smaller pieces, not as pretty as i would have liked but didn't want to waste the carrots

now that the mess section is over... here's what went in

1 kg beets, peeled and grated
400 gr carrots, peeled and grated
30 cm piece of leek, halved, thinly sliced
300 gr white cabbage, thinly shredded
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 l boiling water
white pepper to taste
vegetable fond, according to package directions
2 bayleaves
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 tsp parsley, minced
creme fraiche to serve

(and something else that you would not use if you were making a vegetarian borscht)

i took out my big pot since i've learned that my soups tend to feed an army. this batch certainly would have, the recipe is easily halved and still feeds four...

put the pot on to heat on medium high, added the oil, leek, carrots and cabbage and sauteed them for a few minutes

then added the beets, bayleaves, fond, white pepper and boiling water. turned up the heat to bring a boil, then to medium low to a slow simmer

45 mins later it looked like this

at 45 mins turned off the heat, added the red wine vinegar and parsley

if you're in for the vegetarian version, skip this next ingredient, namely hotdogs! sliced them into 1 cm slices, browned them quickly on a hot pan before adding them to pot.

there was so much that i divided the soup between two pots, the other stayed strickly vegetarian, the other got the hotdogs. i will take some to certain someone's mom tomorrow, some to work and there'll be plenty for certain someone to eat as well.

plated with creme fraiche. i had smetana in my hand at the store but for some strange reason i bothered to see how much fat there is in it... needless to say, and eventhough creme fraiche isn't exactly diet food either, i took the lesser of two evils

as with any soup, rye and crisp breads are a natural

the outside temperature is at -20C... not the coldest in finland at the moment but thank god for the fireplace at the shack!

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