I have officially broken away from cooker’s block! Tonight I made my wonderful family a nice, homemade, low-calorie, Vegetable Borscht. And they thought it wasn’t too bad (not to brag, but neither did I!). Plus, it was pretty cheap. Vegetables. Stock. Tomato paste. And some conventional items most everyone has in their pantries already. Lesson of the day: believe in yourself. And try to cut vegetables faster.
There are a few comments I’m going to make here. Firstly, the beets. They MUST be peeled and sliced using rubber gloves to hold them, unless you want to look like a murderer for the next two weeks! As for the size they’re cut into, the recipe I used called for 1/2 inch pieces. I think mine were actually bigger, and bigger was better. Go for the one inch, baby.
The carrots were much fewer than the beets, so I might increase them by 1/2 cup at the most.
I used garlic-y tomato paste, and I think it had a better effect on the soup than plain Jain paste would’ve. I wanted to eat it straight out of the can. But I do have that mild obsession with garlic (
maybe that’s why nobody talks to me anymore… I have a lot of friends…). I also increased the amount from 2tbsp to 2tbsp + 1tsp.
The vegetable stock was also increased, from 1500mL to 1800mL, as were the mushrooms, from 13oz to 16oz… And I honestly could even have gone higher than that.
Now that you’ve read the changes I’ve made, and will make in the future (the recipe is that great.) maybe you can even tweak this to your own personal tastes and preferences. Last but not least… I burnt the onions. Don’t do that.
Adapted from Company’s Coming: Soups
Makes about 10 cups
680g brown or white mushrooms, chopped
Medium yellow onion, chopped
3 medium beets, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
1800mL vegetable stock
1 1/4 cups carrot, grated
2tbsp + 1tsp tomato paste with garlic
1/2tsp granulated sugar
2tbsp lemon juice, bottled
5tbsp sour cream (I used fat-free)
1) Melt butter or margarine in a large saucepan on medium-high until melted.
2) Add mushrooms and onion. Cook 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onion is softened and mushroom liquid has evaporated. (I repeat: DO NOT BURN)
3) Sprinkle vegetables with flour. Increase heat and stir for 1 minute.
4) Add the vegetable stock, beets, carrot, tomato paste, sugar and pepper; stir and bring to a boil.
5) Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, partially covered, for about 45-55 minutes, stirring occasionally. By this time the beets should be very tender.
6) Add lemon juice and stir.
7) Carefully transfer about 2-3 cups of vegetables to a blender or food processor with a slotted spoon. Process until smooth and return to saucepan. Stir.
8) Add sour cream, increase heat to medium, and whisk until the cream is gone and borscht is a lighter maroon colour. Serve immediately, or keep on low until you’re ready to serve.