Thursday, March 4, 2010

Hot Borsch Soup

The hot borsch soup turned out really good.  It is a stew that incorporates beets and kvass in it.  This seem like a very inexpensive dish that can use the lousy cuts of meat (grass fed) some veggies past their prime and beets.  It will work well in our household for a couple of reasons... 1)  I usually have beet kvass going and always have extra beets and 2) my hubby and son liked it and 3) I am always looking for a way to put veggies in something.  Success! A new meal for us that is inexpensive and organic.

I am listing one recipe.  Sveta is from Russia (I think) and makes a mean borsch!  I will also list what today's borsch grew from.

How today's soup grew:

  • A small roast with lots of fat and bones and not much meat from the bottom of my freezer.  Grass Fed, organic from my uncle.  Put it on the wood stove this morning in a pot, seared it on both sides, then added a bunch of water, onion and seasoning.  This perked along all day with the stove.
  • Late this afternoon, using a smallish pot (in case we didn't like it) some broth and about 1/2 cup of meat started the borsch.  The meat was shredded before adding it in.
  • To this 3 small (kind of old and growing just a little) potatoes, shredded cabbage, some celery, a little more onion and some of the beets from the kvass were added.  If there had been carrots on hand, they would have been in there too, but no luck.
  • Some cultured tomato paste from the fridge (last summer's experiment)
  • This simmered for about 45 minutes, then some of the beet kvass went in.  A little creme fraiche went on top and some barley/oat bread on the side.... A meal!
There was enough left for tomorrow's lunch.  I plan to serve it over baked potatoes.

Now for a real recipe:

Borsch recipe from Sveta

1 lb beef meat ( or chicken)
2 medium beet roots
1 (good size) carrot
1/2 of head cabbage
3 medium potatoes (optional)
1 med tomato (optional)
1/2 medium size onion
salt 1/2 Tsp
pepper 1/2 tsp
bay leaf - 2-3 leaves
1 tsp - raw vinegar
1/3c. olive oil
dill or parsley ( optimal)

In a pan put meat (cut into small pieces) add water and salt. Cook until the meat is done. Into the broth add cabbage and cook until done. Then add potatoes (cut into pieces). Leave it on low heat.

In a skillet put oil, grated (or cut small pieces) beets, carrots, onion. Saute' until the beets have colored the onion. Then put into the broth/cabbage mixture and cook for 10 more minutes.

Turn off heat. Add bay leaves, pepper, and vinegar. Add dill and parsley  before serving.


Cold Borsch (Beet) Soup

Coping with a "Cultured" Kitchen
Today is one of those beautiful California days.  Snow and intense blue sky.  My snowboarding son and hubby call them "bluebird days" .... fresh powder and blue, blue sky.  You are reminded of God's provision and his grace, mercy and justice.

Tuesday was coop and grocery store day.  This time I blocked Wednesday out to deal with the groceries.  No one ever said that making nutritious, interesting meals was quick or easy.  The list was long, but good.  Kefir, low-temperature yogurt, ginger ale, beet kvass, bread and new sponge, mayonnaise, Kombucha Tea and soaked granola.  Today I am drying the granola on the wood stove, cooking some beef and bone broth beside it and putting everything away.  I still need to make a menu, but think I will leave it for tomorrow.

So.... what to make for dinner.   I have an abundance of pickled beets left from making beet kvass, beef and bone broth and I have kefir..... Although I have never tried borsch, it made its way to the top of today's menu because of the ingredients that need to be used from the fridge.
This should be a great summer soup, hopefully it is cold and yummy.  If it is not yummy, we will try again.  This is the recipe that will be the base.  I plan to use kvass and some of the pickled beets in place of the fresh beets and kefir in place of the sour cream.  Wish me luck.

Lithuanian Cold Beet Soup, Saltibarsciai,
also known as known as cold borsch
or cold bortsch or cold borscht

Borsch is the most famous and popular Russian soup. But no one calls it soup in Russia, it's 'Borsch'. The main ingredients are red beets, cabbage, potatoes and meat or chicken broths. Some people make 'vegetarian' borsch without any meat, only with vegetables.
Borsch has a very rich and delicious taste.

Here is the basic Borsch recipe:

1lb - beef (or chicken)
3 - red beets
0.5lb - cabbage
1 - carrot
4 - potatoes
salt and pepper, to taste

Put beef into a large saucepan and cover with 3 liters cold water. Bring to a boil and reduce heat. Remove the grease froth from the broth surface with a spoon. Cut cabbage, potatoes and carrot. Add chopped vegetables into the cooking pot. Cut red beets. When all vegetables are cooked add red beets at the very end. Add salt and black pepper. Cook for 5 minutes. Borsch is served with sour cream.