Thursday, December 18, 2008

Brilliant beets and broth

The time has come for Wigilia, and for me that means making borscht. Though I'm not bringing the soup to the family dinner this year I decided to make some at home for myself and M. It's a Moosewood recipe that I got from my friend Sarah (I'm not sure which book it's from) and I thought I'd share it with you since borscht is so pink and delicious and hard to spell. I also love that it is an incredibly seasonal dish, all root veggies and potatoes and cabbage.

**Disclaimer: this will feed about 8 people, so maybe cut it in half for a weekday meal, unless you want to be eating it for a week like I will be.

3-4 large fresh beets
vegetable oil
12-15 small red skinned new potatoes, scrubbed and boiled until tender.
3-4 Tbs. butter
2 large onions, chopped
4-5 cloves garlic
2 medium carrots, chopped
1 16oz. can diced tomatoes, with juice
5 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 tsp dried dill (or 1/2 cup fresh dill)
2 bay leaves
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp salt
1/2 head cabbage
Sour cream

  • Preheat oven to 350.
  • Scrub beets. Slice off the leaves but leave a stub. Rub with vegetable oil and wrap individually in foil. Bake 1 hour until barely tender.
  • In a big soup pot, melt butter. Add onions and sautee until tender, 4 min. Add garlic and carrots. Lower heat. When vegetables are mostly cooked, 6 min more, add tomatoes with their juice, stock, herbs, and salt. Bring to a boil, then turn down heat and simmer gently, covered, about 40 minutes.
  • Remove beets from oven and poke with a fork to check if they are getting soft. Let them cool until you can handle them; rinse quickly in cold water, and then rub off the outer skins with your hands. It will dye your hands red (be careful with the countertops). Dice beets and add to soup. Slice cabbage and add it too. Simmer, covered, 15-20 minutes until they are tender.
  • Adjust seasonings. Serve very hot with 1 or 2 new potatoes in each bowl. If you use diced regular potatoes instead, just add them at the same time as the beets. Dollop each bowl with a little sour cream.


Geno's Garden said...

Hi! Been following your posts, now that you've left the Sacramento Valley and returned to your "roots" (speaking of which, I may try your Borscht). Anyway, even though I haven't met you in person, I'm a bit sad to know you're no longer in Davis. It's been a great pleasure to view our area thru your eyes. Thanks for all the great posts and super success in this new phase of your life. Jeannie

Gentlewhoadie Apt One said...

And it was delicious, I might add.