Tuesday, July 31, 2012

What to Do With Those Beets? Borscht!

My daughter-in-law- to- be is a food blogger in New York city and I have found it amusing that whenever I visit with her and my son and we go out to eat, we can't eat our meals until she has taken a photo of our plates because it might be featured on her blog. But now I have a new understanding of how she feels, because so many times I regret not taking a picture of a plant, a vegetable or especially some dish I made with the veggies I harvested so that I can write about it! So with that in mind, I remembered to get a shot of the latest batch of Borscht I made with the beets I pulled earlier in the week.

 This is a family favorite. My husband's grandparents were from the Ukraine and Poland and he introduced me to this very slavic soup! My version is vegetarian, because D is also one of those! The recipe makes a pretty large batch of soup, so we freeze what is left for quick suppers in winter. We pair the soup with pierogis (not homemade, which are pretty labor-intensive) for a fast and easy supper.
This was part of my lunch the other day. You see the grilled cheese sandwich? Look closely and you'll notice some of that Brandywine tomato I picked and showed for Harvest Monday. The third best way to sample a new garden tomato! The first is plain, straight from the garden. I've already done that one. The second is in a BLT! But unfortunately, I didn't have any B. So I opted for the third best way, the grilled cheese and tomato sandwich. Yum! Lunch fit for a king. Or queen, as the case may be. Here is my recipe for vegetarian borscht:
                          7-8 medium beets, cooked, peeled and diced (I cook mine by roasting them in the oven. Just wash, trim, wrap them all in a tin-foil packet and bake about 45 minutes. When cool, the skins slip right off. Of course, you'll look like an extra in a slasher movie for a bit, but think of it as fun!)
                           2 tablespoons oil
                           1 large onion, diced
                           1/2 pound sliced mushrooms
                           4 cups of vegetarian broth (I use water plus a large cube of pretend
                           chicken or vegetable bouillon)
                           2 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
                           1 medium parsnip, peeled and sliced
                           1 small green cabbage, cored and shredded
                           1 and a half pound potato, diced (with or without peel)
                           small amount chopped celery leaf
                           3 cloves minced garlic
                           3 tablespoons tomato paste
                           small bunch of chopped dill (you can use dried too)
                           1/4 cup sugar
                           1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
                           2 tsps. kosher salt
                           ground black pepper to taste
Heat the oil in a large kettle and cook the onions and mushrooms for a few minutes until soft. Add all the rest of the ingredients and simmer for about an hour. That's it! Serve traditionally with a dollop of sour cream on top.
If you are not concerned about the soup being vegetarian, use chicken broth as the liquid base instead of the water/bouillion that I use. Either way it tastes delicious!


  1. I am not a beet fan though everyone else in my family loves them. I will have to try this recipe. Love the photo.

  2. I think beets are kind of a love 'em or hate 'em veg. I think roasted beets in salads are wonderful and of course, do love the borscht.

  3. Hi! I don't think I would be interested in the soup but never thought about doing a grilled cheese with a tomato! Thanks for the idea! When my husband was in his late 50's he found out he was polish. His folks had never told him they had a name change! Pretty dishes! Nancy

    1. That is funny about your husband's name. A lot of immigrants either chose to change their names or had them changed by authorities when they came here. My husband's great uncle changed his Polish name to Hatt. The Polish name sounded too much like a swear word in English! I think I first learned about grilled cheese with tomato from my husband too. He sure has influenced my life :-)