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This recipe was a good starting point, but I had to make several major adjustments to achieve something that was suitably "borscht-like" for my tastes. I used two beets rather than one (and next time, I'd use three) and I did not discard them after boiling. I chopped one beet into small dice and pureed the other. I added both right before service. Without the addition of the puree, the soup would have been bright orange rather than the deep ruby color I expect from borscht.
Other changes I made: Added a tablespoon of dried dill toward the end of cooking, omitted about half of the butter and all of the celery (is "half a stalk" reallly going to add any flavor or texture?), didn't reserve the 1/2 c of tomato sauce (this step seemed unnecessary since everything gets mixed together anyway), and I used only about half of the cabbage called for and still found it to be a very cabbage-y soup (3 cups would have been serious overkill). Be sure to taste the soup before serving. I found that it needed quite a bit more salt and pepper than called for.
Garnished with sour cream, of course.
I will make borscht again, but not according to this recipe.
I've never had borscht before so I don't know how authentic this recipe is. I just made this to use up some beets--which frankly I don't even like much. This recipe though is INCREDIBLY DELICIOUS (and really the most remarkable shade of purple/magenta when you use red cabbage...can't beat that)! I even used extra beets (2 large & 3 small) then chopped them up and left them in as people recommended (I figured it was too much work to puree or shred the beets)...and I psychotically love this soup. I think I could eat it every day. The dollop of sour cream was a great touch too. I just had the last bowl...sniff...I think I need to get more beets and make this again. I'll try with much less butter next time though...that was kind of an alarming amount for a vegetable soup.
Great recipe, but thicker than authentic borscht I've had in Ukraine and Russia.
Things I did just a bit differently... I used two beets with the stock (peeled) and when I removed them, I diced one and a half and added it back into the stock. I added a little more dill than called for, and I wish I had some fresh dill for garnish. I added just a touch of white pepper, and I topped the soup with sour cream.
This borscht recipe is amazing. It is as hearty as they come and very full flavoured. I've made a few changes that you may like. A couple of cloves of garlic in the sauce really enhances the flavour. Also I like to fry all of the cabbage so it is all of a consistant texture. Serve the soup with some sourdough bread and you will have a instant hit. If any of you ever end up in the Kootenay region of British Columbia Canada you should stop by the Grand Forks Hotel. Their diner makes a wonderful example of this soup and also has many other traditional Russian dishes that you are bound to enjoy. Cheers Mike
I too kept the beets and diced them and put them back in. I also added two cloves of garlic and I sauteed ground lamb in ghee and garam marsala (indian spices) along with the onions and cabbage. Forgot the heavy cream so I used a can of evaporated milk which worked just great. It turned out marvelously. I garnished with sour cream and fresh dill. No longer vegetarian but a phenomenal lamb borscht. I used ghee (clarified butter) instead of regular butter.
I was trying to find a borscht recipe as good as my friend's mom's. This is so much better. I have made it 4-5 times and it gets better each time as I make my own changes. This is the best borscht I have ever eaten. However I don't discard the beet I grate it into the soup! Enjoy!