Saturday, January 10, 2015

белорусский борщ "Belarusian Borscht" Beet Root Soup

Lilly was so happy that I let her write the blog post last week.  She thanks you for all your kind comments.  I hope your new year has started off to a good start.  My year is off to a great start.  Sometimes I want to complain but really I don't have anything to complain about.  I have a great life and a great family.  My dear son tells me that I suffer from "first world problems" and I think he's correct.  My problem is sometimes I'm nostalgic...Change can be difficult and I sometimes miss my friends and church in Washington state.  But, I'm blessed too to have met new friends. And, my heart and prayers go out to all the people in France who have lost their loved ones this past week. Anyway, enough of my chit chat.

Today, I'm going to share with you a recipe for Belarusian borscht soup.  In case you forgot, Belarus is located in eastern Europe.  It's surrounded by Russia, Ukraine, Poland, Lithuania and Latvia.  

I have a dear friend, Irina, who is from Belarus.  She shared her recipe with me and it's so so good, that I thought I would share it with you.  It's a bit time consuming but it makes a BIG pot of soup that tastes even better the second or third day.  And, it so appropriate to eat on a cold, wintry day. (I kind of long for the wintry days of long ago - we are having some much needed rain drops today with 62 degree weather here....)

Here is what you will need:


Fresh vegetables including beets, onion, carrots, potatoes, cabbage and fresh dill (and is you wish, chicken breast)

Borscht Recipe
18 cups water
4 beets
3 carrots - grated
1 medium onion - chopped fine
4 potatoes - peeled and cubed
1 small head cabbage - shredded
1 chicken breast - cooked and cubed
4 Tablespoons chopped fresh dill - divided (2 T plus 2 T)
2 Tablespoons white vinegar
salt and pepper
soup seasoning (optional)

In large soup pot, place well scrubbed and washed beets.  Do not peel them.  Add 18 cups of water.  Bring pot to a boil and and then lower heat and boil on medium heat for about 1 hour or until beets are tender when pierced with a knife.


Here's a photo of the beets cooking....
Remove beets from the pot and SAVE the cooking liquid.  This will be the base of your soup.


Place the beets on a plate to cool then peel and grate into a bowl.

See the beautiful, ruby red color of the shredded beets....

In a small skillet with 2 tablespoons of oil, add shredded carrots and chopped onion.  Saute for about 4 minutes until vegetables begin to soften.  Set aside.

 Here's the carrots and onions in the saute pan....

Place the chicken breast in a saute pan and add some water.  Gently simmer, turning over as needed, until chicken is cooked.  Do not let it brown as you don't want anything to muddy your beautiful, shimmering, ruby red beet broth....


Cut the cooked chicken breast into small cubes.....

Now you will assemble the soup.  Add the cubed potatoes to the beet broth along with the carrot and onion mixture.  Bring to a boil and skim surface of pot if needed.  After about 5 minutes, add in chicken cubes and 2 Tablespoons of the fresh dill.  Season with salt and pepper.  Let cook for about 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender.  

At this stage, add in shredded cabbage.  Cook for about another 10 minutes.  Taste soup and adjust seasoning if needed.  I sometimes add in a soup seasoning mixture (1 tsp).  Now add 2 Tablespoons of white vinegar and chopped beets and the remaining 2 Tablespoons of fresh dill.  Bring to a boil and then reduce heat.  Cook for about 5 minutes or until beets are soup is hot.

**Irina's secret to keeping the beets ruby red is to add the vinegar!

It is now ready to be served.  You should have a beautiful, clear, pigeon blood* ruby red broth along with all the flavorful veggies.  Ladle into a soup bowl and serve with a dollop of sour cream if you choose.



This soup is even better the second day as the flavors have blended.  It's not that hard to make - as all the work is really in the preparation.

I hope you have enjoyed this little journey into delicious Belarusian cuisine.  Until next time, I wish you all the best.
 
One last thing, Handmade Harbour is back after a long holiday break.  Please stop by and say hello to some very talented crafters.

With my warmest wishes,

Pat

*Just a note about the use of the word "pigeon blood" ruby red.....this term was coined in regard to the beautiful color of rubies found in Burma.  












28 comments:

  1. The soup sounds lovely...hubby and I have soup everyday for lunch and I keep meaning to start making some...maybe I should give this one a whirl!

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    1. Hi Faith, thanks for taking the time to visit my blog. I think you will like this soup as it has a delicate flavor.

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  2. This looks yummy. I have never had beets in soup...

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    1. Hello, I had not had beets either but they have a wonderful flavor that doesn't over power the other veggies. Thanks for stopping by.

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  3. Pat, I am writing a second time, the first for some reason has not turned out :( Good for you! You was a good the post about borscht! With beautiful photos and interesting text! And itself borsch has turned out beautiful and must delicious!
    P.S. The Ukraine, too brewed a borsch with little difference ...

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    1. Hello Maria. I appreciate your kind comments. I think I will try the Ukrainian borsch as I have a friend, Angelina, who is from Ukraine, too. I hope your week is going well.

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  4. Pat, this Is amazing that you can find everything you need for borscht at your place! I would like to try American version. No doubts that it's tasty!

    Irina

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    1. Hello dear Irina, I need to thank you since this is YOUR recipe and it seems to be very popular indeed. I look forward to learning more recipes from you. Miss you.

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    2. That's a great pleasure for me - when I cook and people love that! And of course I would like to share again but next time maybe something more special, than borscht..) Hope to see you soon.

      Sincerely, Irina.

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  5. The soup looks very delicious. I'm going
    to make some of this soup. Thanks for sharing. Have a great day! :)

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    1. Thank you so much Judy. I'm happy that you stopped by for a visit. Have a great day.

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  6. I've been on the look out for a delicious recipe to use up the last of our beetroots. And you've come up trumps. Thank you.

    Jean
    xx

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    1. That's great Jean. I wish I had a garden to grow my own veggies. I'm sure it will taste great.

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  7. I always think soup tastes better second day! This looks lovely, I've never tried beetroot in soup before! Xx

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    1. Thank you Suze. As I mentioned, the beets have a delicate flavor and the color is amazing. Wishing you the best.

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  8. Looks and sounds delicious. Beetroot is very underrated, in my humble opinion.

    Have a lovely crafting week, and happy 2015 to you and yours.
    Alison x

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    1. Hi Alison, yes I agree. I have also roasted beets with olive oil and herbs and they are tasty that way too. Thank you for the new year wishes. I wish you the very best, too.

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  9. I love beets and I love soups and stews so I'm certainly going to give this a go. :)
    Jan x

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    1. Hello Jan, I hope you will like this soup since you do like beets. It's always fun to try something new. Thank you for visiting.

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  10. Sounds delicious! Perfect for winter, i'm making lots of soups at the moment because its sooooo chilly! x

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    1. Hello, I'm sure this soup will fit right in to keep the winter chill away. Thank you for your kind comments.

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  11. Mmmmm looks really yummy! Soup is something I am totally useless at, I will have to try a few recipes and work my way up to yours! xx

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    1. Hi Jen, I understand as sometimes the preparation is way too much to do. This soup does take some time to prepare. I hope your day is going well.

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  12. This looks like a great recipe. I have a favorite grocery store that makes Borcht in the deli, but now I can make it at home.

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    1. Hello, how fun to have a deli that makes borscht! We have lots of wonderful Persian markets here and I love their deli food. Thank you for visiting Lilly My Cat :)

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  13. Pat, I have nominated your blog for the Liebster award. See details here: http://llfarmblog.blogspot.com/2015/01/liebster-award.html

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    1. That's so nice of you Lori. Thank you!

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  14. Mmmmm that looks scrummy,something that looks so good must taste gorgeous! Creative Blessings, Tracy x

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