Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Borsch - an East European treat

Borsch in dish

Beetroot is plentiful right now and you can pick up huge bunches of it quite cheaply. This traditional East European soup is a lovely way to use it.

You will need:
Carrot (or swede)
Onion (or a couple of shallots)
Chicken stock
Lemon zest and juice
Plenty of black pepper
About a teaspoon of oil
Sour cream (or yoghurt) for serving
Peel the vegetables and chop them (quite chunky will do). You'll need to be careful with the beetroot because it'll stain your hands. Wash your hands straight away in plenty of cold water.

Put the oil in a pan and heat it, add the vegetables and sweat* them for a couple of minutes. Everything will go beetroot colour - don't worry. Add the chicken stock, black pepper, lemon juice and zest and the dill and PUT A LID ON THE PAN! Bring to the boil. As soon as it boils, reduce the heat and let it simmer for an hour or so. Check from time to time to make sure it isn't reducing too far. 

When it looks like the second picture and the veg are very soft, allow it to cool and put it through a food processor or liquidiser. Test for seasoning and adjust as necessary. Warm it up and serve it with a swirl of soured cream or yoghurt.

*Sweating vegetables just means cooking them for a few minutes in oil, over quite a high heat, until they start to look shiny.


  1. I've never tried Borsch, might give this a go in the autumn. It wasn't me who asked about getting rid of word verification but it seemed like a really good idea so I've done it:)

  2. It was really tasty. I'd never done it before, but I got some locally-grown beetroot from a roadside stall and it seemed too good a chance to miss.