Borshch

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(Ukrainian Russian beet soup)

Borshch (борщ) is one of the classic soups of the Russian household. Ukrainians, however, swear that it was invented by them. Regardless, there are countless variations throughout the Slavic region of Europe, both with meat and without. Most, but not all, have a base of beets.

Also spelled borsh, borsch, borsht (with the t silent). Called barszcz by the Polish.

4 to 6 servings

Ingredients

  • Butter or oil -- 2-3 tablespoons
  • Onion, minced -- 1
  • Beets, peeled and grated -- 1 pound
  • Tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced -- 1 cup
  • Beef stock or water -- 2 quarts
  • Red wine vinegar -- 3-4 tablespoons
  • Sugar -- 1 tablespoon
  • Salt and pepper -- to taste
  • Sour cream -- 1/2 cup
  • Fresh dill, chopped -- 1 bunch

Method

  1. Heat the butter or oil over medium flame in a large pot. Add the onions and sauté until translucent. Stir in the beets and tomatoes and stir to heat through. Pour in the stock or water, vinegar, sugar, sand and pepper. Taste the broth, and adjust the amount of vinegar or sugar as needed. Broth should be lightly tart-sweet, but not overwhelmingly so.
  2. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to low and simmer for 45-50 minutes, or until the vegetables are cooked yet retain their texture. Serve hot or cold in bowls garnished with a dollop of sour cream (smetana) and a sprinkling of chopped fresh dill.

Variations

  • Some say a true Ukrainian borshch must have beans. Add fresh green beans or cooked white beans to the simmering soup.
  • For a borshch with meat, add some chopped beef brisket, ham, sausages, beef frankfurters, or some pork ribs to the simmering soup. Use about 2-3 cups total. Simmer until the meat is tender.
  • Try using a variety of vegetables. Sauté some chopped carrots, celery, celery root, parsley root or mushrooms with the onions. Add some shredded cabbage, chunks of potato, parsnip, fresh green beans or cooked white beans to the simmering soup. Use about 2-3 cups total. Substitute 1/4 cup tomato paste for the chopped tomatoes.
  • Traditionally, borshch achieved its sour twang by being left to ferment for a few days. These days vinegar speeds the process up. Other ingredients are often used in place of vinegar to add a sour flavor. These include lemon juice, pickle juice, rhubarb juice or fermented beet kvas.
  • Use rubber gloves when peeling and grating the beets to avoid taining your hands. The beets can be grated on a box grater, in a food processor, or you can cut them into a small dice if you prefer.
Your rating: None Average: 4 (21 votes)

I'm a Russian/Ukranian who

4

I'm a Russian/Ukranian who lived all her life in Russia and that's what I can say -
1-Nothing similar to a REAL Borsch(((((
2-Borsch is not borsch without meat! ridiculous!
3-Borsch with beans is an american variation of chili I guess! It's a sin to put beans into a borsch! Have some coffee with a pickle!

Real Borsch needs some more ingredients and definitely it takes more than 45 minutes to make it.

Not a real borsh

I agree.

My mom is Russian. She taught me how to make a real borsh. It has to have meat that you boil for a couple hours until it falls off the bone. There are no tomatoes - just tomato paste, and I have never heard of beans in this soup (I travel a lot and have relatives in Ukraine and Poland and tried their variations as well).

j was may times in ukraine

j was may times in ukraine and many times eat that dish , j like it very much .borsh is something the best j have ever eat , :-)

I work with a guy from

I work with a guy from Ukraine, and he just told me him grandma sometimes had white beans in her borsch but usually not.

Thanks!

All those points were mentioned in the recipe variations. Sorry you haven't heard of the beans!

Борщ in all its glory

You really should read up on your own country's cuisine. It has much more variety than you are giving it credit for.

http://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D0%91%D0%BE%D1%80%D1%89 Борщ имеет массу разновидностей (больше 40 только лишь на Украине ) и готовится по-разному в каждом отдельно взятом регионе."

http://www.russianfoods.com/recipes/item0002D/default.asp (Note the white beans in the recipe.)

Borshch - "Ukrainians,

4

Borshch - "Ukrainians, however, swear that it was invented by them."

No need to swear.

Historically first was the land of Kiev Russia with capital city Kiev. Then Russia capital was moved east to Moscow and land of Russia extended all the way thru Siberia to Alaska.
And the land where Kiev stands was renamed into Ukraine(which means something like side part of the main territory which borders to foreign countries). The other name of Ukraine was Malorussia (little Russia). Catherine the Great referred to te borshch as Malorussian borshch.

Polish name correction

Spelled "barszcz" in Polish,
Pronounced "barshch"

Corrected

Thanks! I've corrected it.