After an incredibly busy week and a half, all I wanted to do this weekend was sleep in, take it easy, and have some home-y food. I love to cook and I put effort into planning my meals on a regular basis; however, when I’m stressed and very busy, my meal prep and cooking goes out the window. This is exactly what happened this past week. I was scraping the bottom of my fridge for food, making the oddest food combinations. I did a major grocery shop yesterday and am glad my fridge is restocked with fruit, veggies, and healthy food options. I really wanted to make a large batch of my mom’s borscht – it’s so hearty, brings back memories from growing up, and reminds me of home. I’ve had a few homesick feelings lately and a bowl of this soup hit the spot.
Borscht is a staple for me. It’s hearty, delicious and stays very well in the fridge. I love it so much that I can easily eat it for several days in a row without getting tired. I recently asked my mom for the recipe and was extremely glad it turned out tasting exactly like hers! I know I’ll be making this soup many times throughout the winter months.
This soup requires a fair bit of time prepping the ingredients, but once prepped, it’s quite simple and straightforward to put together. The recipe makes a full large pot of soup, which easily can feed ten people, and it stays well in the fridge to have for later days. Served with sour cream and Borodinsky bread, it’s the perfect meal for me.
- 2¼ L water
- ½ head cabbage
- 3 medium potatoes
- 2 tbsp oil
- 1 medium onion
- 2 medium beets
- 2-3 medium carrots
- 4 (+2) tbsp lemon juice
- 1 can tomato paste
- 4 bay leaves
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 can red kidney beans
- 6-7 cloves of garlic
- 2 large handfuls of fresh dill
- salt & pepper
- sour cream
- bread (traditionally served with Borodinsky)
- Begin by prepping all of your veggies. Roughly chop/shred the cabbage into medium-sized strands, dice the onion, & peel the beets, carrots & potatoes. Julienne the beets, slice the carrots into thin rounds & cut the potatoes into medium-long julienne-like pieces. Perform steps 2 & 3 simultaneously.
- Fill a large pot with 2 and a quarter liters of water (should fill the pot approx halfway), place on stove-top on high heat & bring to a boil. Add cabbage, reduce heat & simmer for 10 mins. Add potatoes, bring back to a boil & simmer for another 10 mins.
- Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a large pan on medium heat. Add onions & sauté until slightly translucent, about 3-4 mins. Add beets & carrots, 4 tbsp of lemon juice, & 2 tbsp of water. Season with a little salt & pepper & mix well. Place a lid on the pan & cook the veggie mixture for 15 mins, until beets & carrots are fork-tender. Add can of tomato paste, fill the empty can with water & add the water to the pan. Mix well, close lid & cook for another 5 mins.
- While the ingredients in the pot & pan cook, prep the rest of the ingredients. Dice the red bell pepper, drain & thoroughly rinse the kidney beans, mince the garlic & thinly chop the dill.
- Add veggie mixture from pan into pot, add bay leaves, bring to a boil & simmer for 5 mins. Then, to the pot, add red bell pepper, kidney beans, garlic & dill. Mix well, bring to a boil then immediately turn off stove & let the pot sit on the warm stovetop for 5 mins.
- Taste the soup. Season with salt & pepper to taste & add extra lemon juice if desired (I usually add an extra 2 tbsp of lemon juice). Serve hot with sour cream and bread. Traditionally, Russian borscht is served with Borodinsky bread, which is a dark brown, dense sourdough rye bread that is very popular in Russian culture & cuisine.