Lenas Priviet n°1: Borscht – THE soup

Borscht is a Russian soup that is known for its spectacular red color. It looks so interesting and is not that hard to cook! You just need a bit of time and find all its ingredients somewhere in town and you will totally succeed with it. It has a great and very special, incomparable taste: a bit sour but not in an extremely gentle way. It is definitely very Russian, if you’re interested in that, just try it. The early winter days will be just perfect for it, just don’t wear a white pullover when taking your soup down to your cozy couch nest. It is a soup that is very rich and healthy, plus cheap. It has always been cheap because of the beet inside. It is eaten either warm or cold and is spread to the east, starting in eastern Europe. It is very much linked to Russia, but I want to be fair down here and mention the Ukrainians, where Borscht actually originated from. Borscht evolved in this eastern region around the middle ages, where is certainly was cooked different to today. Meat wasn’t the number one ingredient, but has always been considered as giving it the best taste.

I ate a lot of good Borschts already, for example at my friend Ekaterinas house, and I know that the recipes vary a lot from family to family, for example in concern of the meat you choose. I decided to blog the recipe written down by Lena, Natalies mom. This family came down from Omsk in southwestern Siberia, Russia and she is a real German mother now, but in the kitchen the Russian blood keeps flowing, I’d say!

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So this is what you need (for I would say 6-8 persons):

500g of good beef (at a piece)
half a turkey hen/chicken (that just adds to the taste of the stock!)
4 Potatoes
500g Sauerkraut
1 Onion
Some carrots (you can see amounts in my pictures..)
Half of a beet root
Tomato puree

Alrighty, let’s get this started:

You take a big pot and fill it with water, I don’t really know how much… a lot! You add your meat and start cooking it. This will take about 45min until the next action, so just let it cook, after a while turn down to middle heat, cover the pot so you don’t lose the water.

Meanwhile you can prepare the sauce, that will give the soup it’s great taste and color. For that you roast your onion in a bit of oil, add your carrots and beet root (thinly chopped as in picture), one spoon of flour and the tiny can of tomato puree. Then you add water until you receive a smooth, red sauce! You can also already add one clove of garlic.

After the 45mins you take out the turkey/chicken, and add the peeled roughly chopped potatoes to the meat soup. Let that cook for 10 minutes. After these 10 mins you add your Sauerkraut to it. It’s important that you leave the potatoes without the kraut for a while, because the sour will restrain them from getting soft. Wait 20 mins after the Sauerkraut and add the red sauce to it. Let it cook for how long you can/want, it will only get better and better.

It will even taste better heated up the next day and occasionally as I said before, it’s also eaten cold.
You can also eat it vegetarian way, just leave out the meat ;-).

Oh and, of course I didn’t throw away the turkey we cooked for the taste, if you want to see what I did with that (it was a great starter to the soup, also got a little Russian touch), check out this post: Chicken-Vinegar-Salad !

Here you find a tasty recipe to the awesome little fried cakes that go with Borscht, the ‘Russian Krebbel’, also Lenas recipe. You can eat them perfectly with Borscht, they are little fried pastries, made out of a soured milk bread dough!

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