Today we cook borscht – the vibrant, rich, hearty beetroot soup that compliments the season with the colours and choice of vegetables required.
It’s a rustic and hearty Eastern European classic, a wholesome dish for vegetarian diets and gentle on the budget too.
Preparation may take some time but is well worth the effort.
A guaranteed way to beat off the autumn blues is to serve Borscht hot, topped with soured cream.
You can find tens of thousands of different borscht recipes on the Internet. We at StMichael’s prefer this vegan variation.
- 300g beetroot, peeled
- 50g butter
- 1 small onion, 1 small carrot, 1 stick of celery, 1 small leek, all peeled where necessary and cut into small dice or rings
- 2 grains allspice
- ½ bay leaf
- 1.5l veg stock
- 2 medium floury potatoes, eg Maris Piper, peeled and cut into small dice
- 200g sauerkraut
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
- 2 tbsp sauerkraut liquid
- 1 tsp sugar
- ½ tsp ground black pepper
- Sour cream and fresh dill, to serve (preferably Polish sour cream, which has a richer flavour)
- 1. Cut ¾ of the peeled beetroot into small dice (you may want to wear rubber gloves to do this) and set the rest aside. Melt the butter in a large pan, and then soften the onion over a gentle heat for 5 minutes.
- 2. Add the carrot, leek, celery, diced beetroot, allspice and bay leaf and stir well to coat with butter. Cook for another 10 minutes, adding a little stock if the vegetables begin to look dry. Meanwhile, grate the remaining beetroot.
- 3. Pour in the rest of the stock and the potatoes and simmer for 15 minutes, then add the cabbage, sugar, garlic and grated beetroot. Cook until all the vegetables are tender (about 10 minutes).
- 4. Add the sauerkraut liquid, pepper and a pinch of salt and taste. Add a little more of any of these if necessary. Purée if you like a smooth soup, then serve with a dollop of sour cream, a sprig of dill, and some Polish bread on the side.