My friend Mike’s wife Natalia gave me a cooking class on how to make her version of “Borscht”. It’s a delicious soup found throughout Ukraine, Russia and most Eastern European countries that is bright red from fresh beets and has everything you could want: meat, potatoes and vegetables. It’s perfect to feed a crowd during the colder winter months.
3 carrots, peeled
3 beets, peeled
3 garlic cloves, chopped
2 lb meat (half chicken breast, half pork tenderloin or chop), chopped into bite-size pieces
1 onion, chopped
3 potatoes, peels and cubed
½ cup fresh dill, chopped
½ cup Italian parsley, chopped
1 14-oz can pinto beans, rinsed
Extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and black pepper
Serving: Sour cream and herbs
Fill a large pot with 10 cups of water, add the carrot and beets, bring to a boil and simmer for 30-60 minutes (the longer the better).
Remove the carrot and beets and let cool. In about 10 minutes, you must grate the carrots and beets. It’s easier to do this in a food processor with the grating attachment (that’s what Natalia did). In the same pot, add the potatoes and meats and bring to a simmer to cook for 15-20 minutes.
Meanwhile, chop up your other ingredients.
In a large frying pan add 2 Tbs olive oil and saute onion for 3-5 minutes, until softened. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minutes. Add the beets and carrots, add 2 tsp salt, and pepper, and a pinch of sugar and cook for 5-7 minutes until softened and caramelized. Add the herbs as well and cook for 10 minutes. Taste and adjust broth as needed. You want it to be salty, flavorful and a bit sweet from the beats.
June 7, 2022