It's true. Today, of all days, I decided to make soup for dinner. I had bought some beets a couple of weeks ago and didn't use all of them and didn't want them to go bad. So, naturally, the only reasonable thing to do was to make some Borscht!
For those out of the loop, borscht is an Eastern European soup which is typically made primarily of beets. My maternal grandmother has always made an amazing rendition of this soup for the holidays and it is such a comfort food it's not even funny. I think that's why I was craving it; I guess I was just looking for some comfort on this hotter than an inferno day!
While I'm sure my grandmother would screech at me for not making a fully 'authentic Ukrainian borscht", I have to tell you, I may even be almost as fond of my own version almost as much as my Baba's. My version is adapted from the version in The Joy of Cooking with a few twists.
Begin with 1 tbsp of butter and 1 tsp of olive oil in a soup pan. Heat on medium high heat and add in:
- 3-5 grated carrots (depending on how much soup you want to make and how much carrot you like in your soup),
- 1 large red onion, chopped and
- 3-4 beets, (previously roasted in a 400 degree oven for an hour while wrapped in tin foil)
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
Stir all ingredients in the pot until the vegetables soften a little bit. It should look something like this.
Add 10 cups of chicken stock and 2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar. I know what you're thinking... 'why am I putting vinegar in my soup?'. Let me tell you that the vinegar makes all of the difference! Let the soup simmer for 30 minutes.
I found that after 30 minutes of simmering that I needed to skim the surface of the soup. This stuff is a little gross but completely normal from the stock. Just skim away and it will be delish!
After skimming, I let the soup simmer for another 15-20 minutes to soften the veggies up a little more and then served it in a mug with some yummy crusty bread! This is the easiest soup to make and the results are so amazing you won't know how you lived without it.