Borscht is a beet soup common in Eastern Europe and Northern Asia. It is typically made with using large amount of beets, by combining meat or bone stock with sautéed vegetables, which – alongside with large amount of beetroots – may include cabbage, carrots, onions, potatoes and tomatoes. This particular recipe is an old family recipe, by Natasha’s Kitchen. Natasha’s Kitchen has made a whole series of professional video recipes that are well worth visiting.
Depending on the recipe, borscht may include meat/chicken/fish or be purely vegetarian; it may be served either hot or cold; and it may range from a hearty one-pot meal to a clear broth or a smooth drink.
Borscht is often served with smetana or sour cream, hard-boiled eggs or potatoes, but there exists an ample choice of more garnishes and side dishes involved (such as dumplings, like uszka or pampushky).
- 3 medium beets peeled and grated
- 4 Tbsp olive oil divided
- 8 cups chicken broth + 2 cups water
- 3 medium yukon potatoes peeled and sliced into bite-sized pieces
- 2 carrots peeled and thinly sliced
For instructions, if the video is not enough, on how to prepare the soup, I recommend that you visit Natasha’s Kitchen. Also take the time to visit the rest of the website. There is a lot of inspiration for very tasty meals there.
Typical Ukrainian borscht is traditionally made from meat or bone stock, sautéed vegetables, and beet sour. Depending on the recipe, some of these components may be omitted or substituted.
The dominant tastes in borscht are sweet and sour. This combination is traditionally obtained by adding beet sour. It is made by covering sliced beetroots with lukewarm preboiled water and allowing bacteria to ferment some of the sugars present in beetroots into dextran (which gives the liquid a slightly viscous consistency), mannitol, acetic acid and lactic acid.
Image: Liz West