Recently, my mother in law blessed us with a generous amount of beetroots. I have turned some of them into this wonderful salad, but there are still a lot of those purple beauties waiting in the fridge. For me, one of the best ways to enjoy them, is to cook borscht.
Borscht is a sour soup. It derives from a soup originally made by the Slavs from common hogweed , which lent the dish its Slavic name. It has its origin in the Ukraine but it is common in all Eastern Europe and Northern Asia. There are lots of variations of bortsch. There is green borscht with sorrel, white borscht with rye, cold borscht, clear borscht, and so on. The most popular and at the same time best known variant, is the one with beetroot. The beetroot gives the soup its amazing color. I love that deep red! Often it is prepared with a meat stock.
My borscht is, of course, vegetarian. As I don’t use meat, I add chickpeas for the protein and ginger as well as different herbs for the flavor. If you like your borscht more sour, feel free to add some lemon juice or vinegar. I, however, prefer to leave it as pure as it is. Borscht is warming, soothing, low in calories and simply delicious! The soup develops its full flavour the next day. Serve it with some plain yogurt, sour cream or crème fraîche, and good fresh bread!
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1 large spring onion (or several small spring onions)
- 1 onion
- 5 cloves of garlic
- 2-3 tablespoons chopped celery leaves
- 3 thick slices of fresh ginger
- 3 lorry leaves
- 1 piece of white cabbage (about 500g)
- 250g carrots
- 250-300g beetroot
- 2 liters of water
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 2 medium-size potatoes
- 150g boiled chickpeas
- 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary
- 3 tablespoons parsley and coriander
- salt and pepper to taste
- To begin with, chop the peeled onion and garlic cloves finely and slice the spring onion finely. Then, heat the olive oil in a large pot and sauté the onions and the garlic. Now, turn off the heat.
- Next, cut the cabbage into fine and short stripes. Put the cabbage into the pot. Then, peel the carrot and the beetroot. Grate both roughly and directly into the pot. Turn the heat on again, and sauté everything.
- Meanwhile, chop the celery leaves finely. Put the chopped celery together with the ginger slices and the lorry leaves into the pot, stir it well, and add 2 liters of water.
- Bring the soup to boil and season it with salt and pepper. Let the soup boil for about 25 minutes.
- Meanwhile, peel the potatoes and cut them into cubes. Also, chop the parsley, the coriander, and the rosemary.
- When the soup has boiled for 25 minutes, add 1 tablespoon of tomato paste, the potatoes, the herbs, and the boiled chickpeas.
- Cook the borscht for another 15 minutes. Add more water when the soup is to dry. Finally, taste the soup and season it with more salt and pepper if necessary. Remember to remove the lorry leaves and the ginger slices bevore serving!