MY EASY BORSCHT RECIPE
I don't think it's a surprise by now that I LOVE to cook. I heard once that "if you love eating, you love cooking" and I couldn't agree more.... And let's just say I love eating... A LOT.
One thing I enjoy cooking that I never did before is Russian food. When Sasha and I started living together, it was clear from the start that I would be cooking most of the time.
Side note: I'm lucky enough to be with a man who actually knows how to cook, and don't get me wrong, I love when he surprises me by cooking something. Just this weekend, he made Tom-Yum soup for lunch and that was such a delight, as it's not something I would usually make myself.
But 99.9% of the time, I'm the one who cooks and I love it this way. The kitchen is one room where I love being in control. I know, I know, that's SO retrograde... Whatever, I live my own life and that's what works for me. Cooking is actually a ritual I take a lot of pleasure in. (All my tips on cooking at home + my usual routine ---> here.) I love expressing my love with food and cooking for someone is one of the ways that I show I care.
And because Sasha is Russian, of course I was gonna start looking into Russian cuisine. There are a lot of Russian dishes that have similarities to Hungarian food, so I wan't totally in unknown territory either. Borscht, out of everything, isn't one of them! The first time I made it for Sasha, I actually couldn't remember eating it myself. Needless to say, I had no idea what it was supposed to taste like!
But I made it anyway, was told it was delicious, and after eating it several times, made several different ways, I'm pretty confident serving my own now. Because borscht is made with meat broth and a lot of vegetables, it's also a healthy meal, perfect if you're trying to be healthy and maintain a healthy weight.
Also note that I called this post "My EASY borscht recipe" because borscht misleadingly looks so complicated to make... At least that was my impression the first time I read a recipe online. But turns out, there's just a lot of veggie-chopping involved, the whole process is pretty easy and simple. Here's how I make my easy borscht recipe:
Meat for the broth (I like a mix of chicken and beef, so I usually use half a chicken and beef cubes for stews)
2 big (or 3 small) beets
Half a cabbage head
3 or 4 carrots
A few bay leaves
Salt and pepper to taste
* For serving.
First, start making the broth. Simply throw the meat in a big pot, fill it 3/4 with water and set to boil. As the meat cooks, foam will start to form. Collect it with a sieve or a spoon, so the broth stays clear. Once the foam stops forming, add the whole onion (peeled), the bay leaves and salt + pepper to taste. Let the broth simmer for about 1 hour.
While the broth is getting ready, peel the beets, carrots and potatoes. Set the beets to cook in a separate pot, in enough water to cover them. Shred the carrots and the cabbage, and chop the potatoes in small cubes.
Once the beets are relatively soft (but not mushy), take them out of the water and shop them in small cubes, just like the potatoes.
When the broth is ready, I usually remove the meat, the bay leaves and the onion before adding the vegetables. I mainly do that because I don't have a huge pot and I love making big batches of borscht, but also so that it's easier to serve with the right amount of meat. Wether you want to do it that way or leave everything in is up to you.
So remove the meat, onion or bay leaves (or don't) and add the beats, potatoes, carrots and cabbage. Since the water level of the broth will have lowered as it evaporates, add some of the beets water to the soup, until it has a nice, deep red hue and has the desired "meatiness". Personally, I like any soup with lots of stuff inside, I hate just sipping on hot liquid searching for a vegetable or a piece of meat here and there.
Once the vegetables are soft and the soup is ready, turn off the heat and let it rest for at least 30 minutes.
Serve with meat pieces, covered in borscht, and topped off with sour cream, finely chopped garlic (raw) and sprinkled with dill. Note that dill is not pictured, because every store around our place was out of dill when I made mine... I like serving borscht with a loaf of homemade bread. Sometimes if I wanna fo the extra mile, I'll slice the bread, pop it in the oven at broil until it's crispy, and rub it with garlic... It's SO good.
All in all, this easy borscht recipe takes about 2 hours to make, with maybe 30 minutes of active time. That's why I like to make it on the weekend, and I usually make it the same day I make bread, timing it so that I can serve everything just as the bread comes out of the oven, all hot and crispy fresh! And yes, it's as delicious and comforting as it sounds!
Hope you guys enjoyed this recipe, and I hope that you love it as much as I do, if you decide to make it. If you do, post a picture on Instagram and tag it with #THBreCREATED so I can see it and repost it. That way, everyone in the THB community can see how YOU made it and served it! Fun, no?
As usual, let me know what you guys think and if there's anything specific you want. Weeknight quick recipes, finger food, healthy recipes for weight management, etc.
In the meantime, bon appétit, and I'll see you tomorrow for Beauty Wednesday!
Love, Jenny xx