Today I have one of our all-time favorite soups to share with you! Martin makes a big pot of this several times a year, and we freeze bags of it so we can eat off of the leftovers till the next batch. It really works all year round because it's light and brothy, but at the same time it really fills you up. He learned how to make so many great dishes like this one while living in Romania/Moldova for two years. Last weekend he made up a big pot of it and I asked him to write down the a recipe (he makes it from memory) so I could put it on the blog. Here's Martin:
Hey guys! We adore this soup at our house, and yes even our littlest toddlers do too. It's very addicting, and as Emily said, a huge perk of making it is large quantities is that it freezes and reheats so well, which helps a ton when days are extra busy.
A quick little background about borsh: there are many different variations that come from different countries, and with different spellings. Most have this beautiful deep red broth that comes from beets, while others are made with a tomato base, and some neither. Some are served hot, some cold. In Romania particularly, borsch(borscht) can be a sour soup, or a liquid ingredient for sour soups made from fermented grain found at most food markets. They can be the simplest form of survival food made from a few vegetables, or a rich deluxe variation with all the favorite ingredients such as this one. Enjoy!
3 large beets, grated
4 large carrots, grated
14 oz diced tomato (fresh or canned)
5 Cups cubed (unpeeled) potatoes
4 Tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 -2 lbs. cubed beef (shank, chuck, or your favorite soup cut)
½ head of cabbage, shredded
10 oz frozen peas
1 bundle fresh parsley, finely chopped
½ bundle fresh dill, finely chopped
Salt to taste
2 Tablespoons garlic
2 Tablespoon savory
2 Tablespoon powdered rosemary
1 Tablespoon paprika
1 Tablespoon powdered sage
2 bay leaves
1 Cup Approx. lemon juice (citric acid may be substituted)
sour cream – to serve
Grate up your beets and carrots, and set aside. In a large soup pot brown the chopped onions in olive oil. With pot on medium high, add your grated beets, carrot, and diced tomatoes to the pot and add 6 cups of water (also, continue to add water throughout the process if needed in keeping up to the level of ingredients). Cube your potatoes and add. Prepare your meat and add. Pre-season the broth with 3 Tablespoons salt, all dry seasonings, and ¼ cup lemon juice. Simmer for 30 minutes. Shred cabbage and add. Add frozen peas. Finely chop parsley and dill and add. Simmer for 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and lemon juice. The level of sourness varies to taste, but will diminish in the broth as it is absorbed by the ingredients. Cook on a low simmer until meat is done and potatoes tender.
Serve with a generous dollop of sour cream.
So good. Have you ever had a variation of borsch? Are you soup fanatics as well when the chilly weather hits? Do you even have chilly weather where you live? :)