Borscht Soup (Beetroot Soup) Recipe
Borscht Soup? Beetroot Soup?
“That sounds a bit strange!” I hear you say. Well, don’t be fooled folks. Borscht Soup (or Beetroot Soup) is, whilst pink in colour, a healthy, cheap and delicious soup which I dare you to try. Once tried, you’ll never look back. Trust me on this one.
Borscht soup is Russian in origin and I first tried it when I was managing a small exclusive hotel with a Russian owner. The Executive Chef, Craig Redmille added Borscht to the menu as a homage to the owner. Once tried, we were all quickly hooked on the good, pink stuff.
Vegetable oil (I use rice bran oil)
8 good quality real pork sausages (not pork flavoured!)
8 cups of cold water
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
2 bay leaves
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon Maggi chicken stock powder
3 medium sized beetroot (cleaned and coarsely grated)
2 small/medium carrots (cleaned and coarsely grated)
2 potatoes (pealed and chopped into small 1 centimetre cubes)
1 can chopped tomatoes
2 small onions
1/2 a medium sized green cabbage (cored and coarsely grated)
4 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
3 cloves garlic (minced) or about 1 heap teaspoon minced garlic
Sour cream (for topping)
Crusty bread (to serve)
Let’s get cooking!
1. Heat oil in a big soup pot. Cut sausages in half and squeeze the meat from the casings into the pot. Throw out the casings. Break up the sausage meat into a mince-like form in the pan and keep cooking until the meat is no longer pink. Remove from the pan.
2. Pour 8 cups of water into that same, non-rinsed pan. Bring it to the boil. Once boiling put the sausage meat back into the pan with the bay leaves, peppercorns, chicken stock powder and bring the water back to the boil.
3. Once the water is boiling, add the grated beetroot to the pot. Simmer for about 20 minutes then add the grated carrot and chopped potato. Cook until the potato is tender (about 10-15 minutes) and then add the grated cabbage and the tin of chopped tomatoes.
4. In another small pot, heat some oil and gently cook the chopped onion until it is semi transparent. Then add about half a cup of water and the tomato paste. Stir until the paste has dissolved and then add it to the rest of the soup.
5. Add the raw minced garlic to the soup. Stir it in and turn the heat off. Let the soup stand for about five minutes. Just time enough for you to cut some crusty bread!
6. It’s serving time. Put the desired quantity of Borscht soup into soup bowls and top with a tablespoon of sour cream.
And that’s it folks. Pull up a chair, pour yourself a glass of red (or the more traditional vodka if you dare) and enjoy!