Borsch is very popular in Russia
Even though Borsch originally comes from Ukraine, it is also a very important part of Russian culture. Although the traditional recipe can be a little bit different from family to family, every housewife in Russia knows how to cook soup Borsch. There is even a funny believe that a pot of Borsch is able to extend the marriage and save from divorce.
In Russia Borsch is often cooked at home, at schools, kindergartens, hospitals – in other words everywhere. Even in Space, it is the most popular dish among Russian cosmonauts. If you do not believe travel to Saint Petersburg and visit the planetarium. There you can find a vending machine with space food in tubes (including Borsch).
The History of Borsch
Before potato was spread to Europe from South America, the traditional recipe of Borsch included only carrot, cabbage, beetroot, salt, and pepper. The similar ingredients were used in Tibetan medicine to prepare elixir, which was used to banish demons and get rid of sadness and bad thoughts. So, probably Borsch is, in fact, a magic elixir. Just try to cook it and observe your change of mood. Do you feel happier now?
My traditional recipe of Borsch
Being born and grown up in Russia, I can not imagine my holiday at home without a delicious plate of Borsch. Here is how it is cooked in my family already for more than 50 years.
- Meat on the bone (preferably beef, although any other kinds of meat will also work)
>1 big beet or two small
>1 medium carrot
>1 medium onion
>4 medium potatoes
> ½ small cabbage (about 8 leaves)
- Flavors and spices:
>1 tablespoon salt
>¼ cup dill / chopped
>lemon acid in powder form (1 teaspoon) or ½ lemon
1. Make the broth
It is essential to prepare the good broth. To do this use meat on a bone and some aromatics. Just put meat in a big pot, pour the water so that it covers the meat, add one whole head of onion and flavors (we use 2 bay leaves and few peppercorns). When the meat boils, remove the foam and cook the broth for another 20 minutes.
2. Grate/cut vegetables
While the stock is cooking, prepare vegetables:
>Peel all vegetables.
>Grate beetroot and carrot
>Julienne a cabbage
>Cube potatoes (Don,t forget to place peeled potatoes into cold water so that they will not get black before you use them again).
3. Put salt and shredded cabbage
When the broth is ready put one big spoon of salt and shredded cabbage into a pot with meat. Boil together for about 15 minutes.
4. Put cubed potatoes
Add cubed potatoes and boil for another 15 minutes.
5. Prepare carrots and beetroots
While potatoes are cooking, place grated carrot and beetroot into a big bowl.
6. Add cold water and lemon acid to the beetroot-carrot mix
Water should cover the vegetables. If you do not have lemon acid in powder form, you can squeeze half of a lemon.
7. Steam in the microwave
Beetroot and carrot mix should be steamed in the microwave for about 10 minutes.
8. Remove meat and put a beetroot-carrot mix
After potatoes are soft enough, take out the meat and place the carrot-beetroot mix into soup.
9. Boil for the last 5 minutes. Add chopped dill
10. The soup is ready!
Ladle soup into serving bowls, and garnish with sour cream.