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a good Borshch takes time, attention and good mood, so make sure
you really feel like cooking it. I have made Borshch maybe a
thousand times in my life if not more, but every time I need
to dedicate 2 hours of my life to it without being disturbed,
and even without cooking anything else at the same time."
- Recipe submitted by Oxana Genina of Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine.
You need (for a 5 to 6-liter pot):
- Meat for the broth (pork, or beef, or
chicken, better with good bones for rich broth)
- Or for lenten (vegetarian) Borshch
kidney beans instead of meat
- Beetroots (red table beets) 500
- Carrots 150 to 200 g
- Potatoes as much as you like in
soups, 2 to 7 medium size potatoes
- Cabbage (white) 1 medium size head
- Paprika (any color) 2 to 3 ones
- Garlic approximately 50 g (more
or less, or not at all if you do not like it)
- Greens - whatever you like (dill, parsley,
coriander, basil, sorrel, etc.) in any quantity
- Onions 1 big or 2 medium size ones
- Fresh tomatoes 500 to 600 g (or
0.5 l tomato juice)
- Egg-plants 200 to 300 g (not necessary,
but better be)
- Sunflower oil 50 to 60 ml for Borshch
with meat, 150 to 170 ml for vegetarian Borshch
- Sour cream
- Boil the meat (time depends on the meat,
just make the broth almost ready). The pot should be half-filled
with liquid. For vegetarian Borshch just bring to boil half a
pot of water and at the same time start to cook the beans in
a separate little pot.
- Peel and clean all the vegetables. Cut
beetroots in long thin slices (about 2 mm thin) God forbids
to grate it with a grater! and put it in the pot. Add
salt. Carrots (sliced same as beetroots) and potatoes (cut in
bigger soup pieces) go in the pot in about 30 to 40 minutes after
- Use this time for preparing the rest of
the vegetables because they take time, and have to be added by
the end one after the other, and should not be overcooked.
- When adding new ingredients, try to get
rid of the foam that builds up on the surface.
- Prepare cabbage, paprika, and garlic
slice them all in little pieces and keep in a big bowl. Cabbage
has to be thin, and it is good to cut its long slices also crosswise
(so that it does not hang off the spoon too much, otherwise you
make sounds when you eat it). (Better not use very young green
cabbage, it is too soft for Borshch.)
- Slice onions and egg-plants in thin slices,
prepare tomatoes (extract their juice with a grater and throw
away the skin) or open your tomato juice. Heat up the frying
pan with sunflower oil. Fry the onions till golden color, add
egg-plants, fry and stir on medium flame for about 10-12 minutes
till soft, then add tomato juice. Bring to boil, cook for 3 to
- Add cabbage with paprika and garlic in
about 10-15 minutes after carrots and potatoes. If it is vegetarian
Borshch then it is the right time to add the beans (make sure
they are ready, if not do it after your Borshch is ready),
drain the beans water first. Bring your Borshch to boil and right
away add the content of the frying pan (onions, egg-plants and
tomato juice). Very important is not to overcook the cabbage!
It should not be boiling for over 5 minutes normally, unless
you like it very soft.
- All the greens go in by the very end,
1 minute before you turn the flame off.
- Serve Borshch with sour cream (1-2 spoons
per plate) but some people do not like it (by my experience about
1/4 of Ukrainians and almost all foreigners prefer it without).
- Do not be afraid to have too much cabbage
in the pot. Cabbage is actually the main ingredient of real Ukrainian
Borshch, it should be thick, and grandmothers say that Borshch
is good if a spoon stands in it upright. Better make it thick,
and if you do not like it you can always add some water and salt
- Borshch tastes MUCH better the next day
and many days after, it will not get spoiled if refrigerated
for a week and more. Even people who do not like yesterdays
soups really enjoy last weeks Borshch. Thats why
it makes sense to cook even a bigger pot. Just warm up every
time some quantity as you do with any soup.
- Important! Vegetarian Borshch tastes super
delicious when cold. DO NOT warm it up, just add some sour cream.
If you still do not like it cold you can always make it warm.
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