Borscht

I’m starting my blog with borscht soup as my first post simply because this is the first recipe one of my Instagram followers has asked for. This hearty winter warmer soup originates from Russia, and is also widely used in other Eastern European countries, with many variations. My one includes meat, but you can always leave the meat products off.

500g beef brisket
2 litres water
1 tbsp salt
2 bay leaves
4 white peppers
2 cloves of garlic
1/2 leek
5 parsley stalks
250g raw beetroot
1/2 stalk of celery
2 potatoes
1 onion
200g white cabbage
1 tbsp butter
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
salt and black pepper
150g frankfurters (hot dog sausages)
parsley
crème fraiche to serve

1. Cover the meat with the water, and bring to boil. Boil uncovered for 10-15 minutes, removing the foam that forms.

2. Add the salt, bay leaves, white peppers, garlics, chopped leek and parsley stalks. Cover with lid and simmer for two hours.

3. Remove the meat, and cut to bite size pieces. Strain the liquid through a sieve. For extra fine result, you may also use muslin.

4. Grate (or finely chop) the beetroot, celery, potato and cabbage to match size pieces. Finely chop onion. Keep 2-3 dl of beetroot aside. Soften in a pan with butter.

5. Add the liquid, and cook for 15 mins. Add the chopped tomatoes, vinegar, remaining beetroot, meat and chopped frankfurters. Check taste and add salt and pepper if needed. Simmer for 5-10 minutes.

6. Serve with a dollop of crème fraiche and chopped parsley.