Red Soup (Moldovan Borscht)

dsc_1336RECIPE #301, DAY #501

ORIGINAL RECIPE: “Red Soup” from my old blog, RealisticChef*

TIMING: 1 1/2 hours, most of it simmering time

DIFFICULTY: Easy

TOOLS: A soup pot and a ladle, besides the cutting board and knife you will use to death

COOK TYPE: Stovetop

HEALTH: The only negative to eating this soup is that it lacks satiety. On every other level, it is healthy, warming, soothing… It is very low in fat. You control the sodium. It’s just a bowl full of health. (It actually always reminds me of the cabbage diet soup that was real big 15 or so years ago.)dsc_1337

EXPERIENCE: We have made this before, and we love it every time. You might think that a bowl of veggies–especially featuring beets–would meet with, at best, a 50/50 reception, but this is never true. This soup is scrumptious, and even children tend to like it.

NOTES:  The original recipe made such a large amount of soup, I decided to cut in in half for this blog. Double it if you want leftovers or are feeding a crowd. But remember, you will need more than this soup, so try not to overestimate.

This is not what I think of as Russian borscht, which is a smooth, riotously pink soup which includes cream. In Moldova, they do call it borscht, but I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that would probably just translate “beet soup.”

To emphasize the beet flavor and/or pink color, up the amount of beets.

This soup is about fresh, local ingredients, and I have included both parsnip and rutabaga in the spirit of that concept. I recommend both, and suggest that you use whatever beautiful, seasonal veggies jump off the shelf–or out of the garden–at you (within culinary reason, of course).

For leftovers, I added Polish sausage (kielbasa) and wide egg noodles, then topped it with sour cream. Yum!

***

  1. In a soup pot, combine 8 cups water, 1 chopped carrot, 1 small chopped onion, and 1 medium peeled and chopped beet. Bring to a boil, reduce to simmer, and simmer for 1/2 hour.
  2. Add 1 chopped bell pepper (green or red), 15 ounce can diced tomatoes, and chopped 1/4 green cabbage. Simmer for another 1/2 hour.
  3. In a small dish, melt 1 tablespoon butter and whisk in 1 tablespoon flour. Whisk this mixture into the soup along with 1 tablespoon minced parsley and/or dill and salt to to taste. Taste soup for veggie tenderness.

***

Serve as is, as a first course or for a light meal when you are under the weather. Bread and butter are the only addition I might make.

*Recipe changed from the original.

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