Almost as soon as I began harvesting beets to eat from our garden, the kids started requesting home made borscht. They sat in silence as I explained that the beets I planted weren’t the dark red kind but striped or ‘candy cane’ beets. They are equally delicious and less messy than regular beets but would probably make one strange looking bowl of borscht. I finally gave in a bought a bag of red beets from the Market on MacLeod yesterday, along with some lovely purple cabbage. Then I searched for fresh dill all over the market before I realized there was none to be had. There were bags of small cucumbers to make into pickles and some really nice fresh garlic but no dill. I ended up going to the grocery store in the end because borscht is just not the same without dill.
Last night was a very late dinner night, as most are during the week. Hubby and kid number two are busy at karate on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6:45 to 8:30 and kid number one has football every night of the week. Both sports are very demanding and it is difficult for them to eat a large dinner before all that physical activity. So they just end up having a quick snack when they come home from school and we all eat much later, around 9 pm most nights. Having dinner so late in the late fall and winter complicates taking food photographs. Sigh. It’s almost time to set up the soft light box again.
I did alert everyone that tonight was borscht night so they were all looking forward to the treat when they got home. Apparently it was the subject of much discussion on the ride home. Kid number one had just ordered borscht in a restaurant on the weekend and was pretty happy with it although it was pureed, smooth, and creamy. They all agreed that they prefer their borscht chunky with a thin broth, just like I make it. Borscht doesn’t take much time at all to make so really it is something we should all enjoy more often.
Red Beet and Cabbage Borscht
- 6 new beets (about 2 inches diameter), peeled and grated
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tomato, diced
- 2 tbsp of water
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar OR juice of ½ lemon
- 2 L of water 3 tbsp 'better than bouillon' or other chicken stock base to add to the boiled water
- 1 tbsp of salt
- 7 new baby red potatoes, thinly sliced
- ½ red cabbage
- bunch of fresh baby dill
- sour cream
- Heat up 1 tbsp of olive oil in a large pot over medium/high heat. Saute onions until translucent. Add grated beets and diced tomatoes.
- Add 2 tbsp of water and vinegar/lemon juice to the vegetables and stir.
- Reduce the heat to low, cover the pot and simmer for 20 min.
- Boil 2 L of water in a kettle. Add the water to the shredded vegetables after they have been simmering for 20 min.
- Bring to a boil and add 1 tbsp of salt and bouillon.
- Add sliced potatoes and shredded cabbage to the soup and cook for 10 minutes.
- Finally add baby dill to the soup and continue cooking for another 5-10 minutes.
- Remove borscht from the heat. It is now ready to be served.
- When serving borscht, add sour cream, pepper, and fresh herbs to individual bowls.