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Borscht (borsch)

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Borscht (also borsht, barszcz or borshch) is a soup of Ukrainian origins that is popular in many Eastern and Central European countries. In most of these countries, it is made with beetroot as the main ingredient, giving it a deep reddish-purple color.

Left: Russian borscht.

In some countries tomato may occur as the main ingredient, while beetroot acts as a secondary ingredient. Other, non-beet varieties also exist, such as the tomato paste-based orange borscht and the green (zelioni) borscht (sorrel soup).

The soup is a staple part of the local culinary heritage of many Eastern and Central European nations. It made its way into North American cuisine and English vernacular by way of Slavic and Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe. Alternative spellings are borshch and borsch.

Hot borscht is a hearty soup with many common optional ingredients, depending on the cuisine, including various vegetables (beans, cabbage, carrots, potatoes, onions, or tomatoes), mushrooms, and meats (chicken, pork, or beef). It is more akin to a stew than most soups, and may be eaten as a meal in itself, usually with thick dark bread.

In Belarusian cuisine, the tomatoes are standard, sometimes in addition to beets. It is usually served with smetana (eastern-European style sour cream) and a traditional accompaniment of pampushki (sing. pampushka), small hot breads topped with fresh chopped garlic.

In Russian cuisine, it usually includes beets, meat, and cabbage and optionally potatoes.

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In Ukrainian cuisine, it can be a vegetable soup or based on either chicken or other meat bouillon. Usually it is served with pampushki and smetana. Main ingredients include specially prepared red beets, chopped cabbage, and a tomato sauce.

Left: Ukrainian borscht with smetana and pampushkas.

See also Cold borscht.

Borscht (Russian Vegetable Soup) Recipe

 
Water or stock 1 l
Cabbage 150 g
Beetroot 1 small
Chopped tomatoes 200 g
Potatoes  100 g
Carrot 1
Onion 1
Garlic 1 clove
Olive oil 50 g
Sugar 1 tbsp
Vinegar 1 tbsp
Flour 1 tbsp
Butter 25 g
Chopped parsley or dill 2 tbsp
Salt, pepper to taste

Bring water to the boil. Add sliced cabbage to the water:

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Heat some oil in the frying pan. Add grated beetroot, chopped tomatoes, sugar, vinegar and a small amount of water. Cook over gentle heat for about 10 min:

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Peel and dice the potatoes and add them to the cabbage: 

 
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Grate the carrot and slice the onion. Add the beetroot and tomato mix to the borsch. Fry the carrot and onion in a little oil for 3-4 min:

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Add the carrot and onion mix to the borsch. Melt the butter in the frying pan, add the flour and cook about half a minute:

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Add  the flour to the borsch. Taste the soup and add salt and pepper and cook for 20 min. Add chopped herbs:

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Leave to stand for 5 min. Add finely grated garlic:

 
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Serve the borsch topped with soured cream:

 

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Recipe source: supercook.org

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