Borsch – aka – Beet & Cabbage Soup

Borsch is a hearty, healthy and easy-to-make soup that traditionally comes from Russia.  There are a number of variations on the recipe, so please don’t frown too much if you have  eaten it with somewhat different ingredients or have seen another method of preparation!   This is the basic, meatless version.  There is also Borsch with beef brisket, and  with bacon.  If you want, make a variation of your own – add a twist!!

Ingredients:

1 large or 2 medium beets sliced in four parts

1 large onion

2 celery stalks, chopped (include green tops)

10 cups water

2 bay leaves

1 medium parsnip (optional)

3 cups chopped cabbage

2 medium carrots chopped or grated

2-3 medium potatoes diced

3-4 cloves garlic

15 oz can of tomato sauce (S&W Home Style Recipe is good)

Spices to taste:  1 teaspoon each of Lemon Pepper, Poultry Seasoning

Extra Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation:

In separate saucepan put the peeled and quartered beets to cook in approximately 2 cups of water.  They cook faster when semi-whole or quartered, and do not bleed the flavor or color as much as when cooked chopped up.  (If you have time, boil the beets whole and then peel and dice).   Cook the beets until almost done.  They should still be somewhat firm and not completely sliding off the fork when pricked.

Put 10 cups of water to boil.  Add the bay leaves, the chopped onions and the cabbage.  Add the chopped celery and the chopped parsnip (optional), and carrots.  Bring to a boil, then simmer.  Add the diced potatoes and chopped garlic.  Bring to a boil, then simmer.

Meanwhile, remove the almost cooked beets out of their cooking water, pour the water into the main soup pot.  Dice the semi-cooked beets and add them to the soup.  Continue to simmer until the potatoes are soft.  The beets should be soft enough to bite into, but still retain their color.

Add spices and  the tomato sauce, stir well and simmer until all ingredients are well combined. 

Add salt and pepper to taste.

 If you like, you can also add 2-3 cups of fully cooked Great Northern Beans (white beans) to add a smooth texture and contrasting color to the beety red soup.

Also, add a spoon of sour cream to each bowlful and eat with garlic bread.                                               Enjoy!  Be Healthy!  Eat Garlic!!

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