115. When fall is in the air, soup is a great addition to the weekly meals. I love to try all different types of soup. My girls first choice is always Chicken and Dumplings and I always make a large pot for them! But one of my favorites is a European beet soup called "Borscht".
While visiting the country of Poland, Borscht was one of the soups I just had to have! And it was delicious! The recipe I like to use comes from the Russian Tea Room Cookbook on page 51.
6 cups beef or chicken consomme'
1 cup tomato sauce (I did not add tomato sauce)
1 ½ cup shredded cabbage (I did not add the cabbage)
¾ cups thinly slices celery
¾ cup shredded carrots
¾ cup thinly sliced onions
1 teaspoon sugar
1 ½ cups julienne strips of raw beets (or cubed, I increased the amount of beets)
salt and pepper
2 teaspoons red-wine vinegar (optional)
¼ cup minced fresh dill weed
Pour consommé into a large soup kettle. Add tomato sauce, cabbage, celery, carrots and onions. Bring to the boiling point and turn heat to low. Skim soup. Simmer, covered, for about 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender but still keep their shape. Skim as needed. Stir in sugar and the beets. Simmer, covered, for 10 more minutes or until beets are tender. Check the seasoning; if necessary, add salt and pepper to taste. Stir in vinegar if you are using it. turn soup into a tureen or 6 individual soup bowls and sprinkle with the dill. Serve hot, with sour cream on the side.
The night before I had made a beef roast with carrots, potatoes and gravy. There was a little bowl of left overs so I decided to use them in the Borscht. I took the chunk of beef and cut it into small pieces to use in the soup. Then I placed some beef and carrots and potato with a little gravy in my food processor and chopped it. This became a perfect filling for my little "Ucho" or little ears, which are small pierogi. The Borscht in Poland had these little Ucho that were filled with meat.
The pierogi dough is very simple and can be found here. I cut the recipe in half and began to fill the little rounds of dough with the beef and vegetable filling. As I worked on the Ucho, my daughter cut the fresh beets and other ingredients and made the soup.
The Ucho turned out beautifully and I coated them with a little oil so they would not stick together.
I served them next to the soup along with sour cream.
The soup was "gusty dobry".
"Nobody ever says, 'Can I have your beets?' "
~ Bill Cosby
"Everything I do, I do on the principle of Russian borscht.
You can throw everything into it beets, carrots, cabbage, onions,
everything you want.
What's important is the result, the taste of the borscht."
~ Yevgeny Yevtushenko, Russian poet