The Simplest Possible Borsht
The ruby-red borscht is the elixir of youth and the taste is divine. The best part? If you have good quality ingredients, it is failproof.
- A saucepan with 5 litres (or more) capacity (two saucepans, if you have them, will make cooking faster);
- A food processor with a chopping function (optional);
- A frying pan.
- 3 raw beets, 8-10cm in diameter, ideally with greens still attached (this means that the beets are very fresh, and adding the greens to the borscht will make it even more delicious);
- 2 medium carrots;
- White cabbage, half a head (about 300g-400g);
- 1 medium onion;
- 1 medium tomato;
- 1.5l vegetable or meat broth (optional).
- A laurel leaf;
- Two peppercorns.
- A bunch of dill;
- Sour cream;
- Rye bread and butter (optional but highly recommended).
- Prepare the beets by trimming the greens and washing them. You need to keep the skin intact, so keep “the tail” and the top part;
- Put beets into the water, add salt, 1tsp of sugar, bring to boil and simmer until the beets are cooked. I use about 1.5l of water for the beets;
- In another saucepan, bring water or broth (also about 1.5l) to boil, add salt, 1tsp of sugar, laurel leaf and peppercorns, peel and chop carrots and add them to the second saucepan. Then chop cabbage (in the food processor or by hand) and add it to the second saucepan. Simmer until cooked or al dente;
- Peel the onion, dice it (the smaller the better) and start frying it very gently to make sure it does not burn;
- When the beets are cooked, get them out of the saucepan. Water in which the beets were cooked would be of intense ruby red colour. Add it to the saucepan where cabbage and carrots are being cooked (do not add the last few drops if there are some beet residuals at the bottom);
- Peel the beets, dice them, chop the beet greens if you have them, and add all of this to cabbage and carrots;
- Peel the tomato (submerge it into boiling water, then into cold water, to make it easier) and chop it;
- Add tomato and onion (once it is soft) to the saucepan with cabbage, carrots and beets;
- Stir well, make sure all vegetables are cooked, serve hot with a tablespoon of sour cream and chopped dill;
- Optional but highly recommended: serve with dill sandwiches. To make dill sandwiches, chop dill, butter rye bread, put it buttered side down on the chopped dill, then turn over, sprinkle with salt and serve.
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