How to cook Russian borscht

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Borscht is a traditional Russian beetroot soup. It is loved not only in Russia, but also in Ukraine, Poland, Lithuania, Romania and Moldova.

How to cook Russian borscht
Source: Wikipedia

The name borscht comes from the fact that in Kievan Rus’ borscht was made from edible leaves of hogweed which in Russian is борщеви́к [bor-schye-véek]. Beets were added later. In the 19th century, potatoes were also added to the traditional recipe.

Each family has its own borscht recipe. Some add mushrooms, others beans or smoked meat. Today we will teach you how to cook one of the classic variations of Russian borscht:

Borscht ingredients

Water: 1.5–2 l
Pork or beef on the bone: 400 g
Small beets: 2 pcs.
Carrots: 1 pc.
Onions: 3 pcs.
Tomato: 2 pcs.
Tomato paste: 2 tbsp.
Sunflower or olive oil: 4-5 tbsp.
Lemon juice: a bit
Fresh white cabbage: 300 g
Potatoes: 4 pcs.
Garlic: 3 pcs.
Salt, bay leaf, fresh herbs, black pepper (peas): to taste

Russian Pod 101

How to prepare

1. Making the broth:
Take a 3-liter pan. Pour 1.5 to 2 liters of water into it, place the meat in. Put on medium heat. Watch the broth, remove the foam before it starts boiling. Broth will taste better if you use meat on the bone. When it boils, cover the pot with a lid and cook for an hour and a half over low heat.

2. Preparing the beets:
To keep the red color of the borch, it’s better to boil the beets separately from other veggies. Don’t peel them before boiling. When the beets are done, peel them and grate on a big grater. Sprinkle the beets with lemon juice. It will help to keep the color.

3. Frying the veggies:
Cut onions into cubes. Grate carrots on a big grater. Fry everything on a pan with olive or sunflower oil for about 5 minutes. Add cut tomatoes and tomato paste and fry for another 5 minutes.

4. When the broth is done, take the meat out (keep the broth on fire). While the meat is cooling, cut the cabbage and add it to the broth. In 5-10 minutes add potato cut in thin slices.

5. While the veggies are cooking, separate the meat from the bone and cut into cubes. Add it to the broth. Add salt to taste.

6. Grate the garlic on a small grater and add it to the broth. Add the fried veggies and the beets. Add bay leaf and fresh herbs. Cover the saucepan and cook everything for another 5-7 minutes.

The borscht is ready! You can eat it immediately, but the next day it is even tastier. It is usually served with sour cream and rye bread.

Bon appetit!

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