Grandma's Ukrainian Borscht
- 1/2 lb beets (1 big one or possibly 2 small)
- 6 can sliced beets (with no flavouring)
- 1 can Northern Beans or possibly Butter beans
- 1 med Carrot (more if desired them) cut into bite sized pcs
- 1 med Onion, cut up.
- 1 stk celery, (more if desired), again, cut into bite size pcs.
- 1 c. shredded cabbage, more if desired salt grnd pepper white vinegar
- 1 x lemon juice sugar bay leaf garlic pwdr if you wish beef bouillon crystals
- 1/2 x a can of Swansons beef bouillon
- (I think northern beans are better, but sometimes they are difficult to find without seasoning)
- How to make it:Place about 2 qts of water in a big, big pot (it will fill up,trust me). Open up your can of beans and drain in a colander, washing off the liquid from the can. Place the beans in the pot. Place carrot, onion, celery, cabbage, and bay leaf in the pot. Put the burner on Medium High and get to boil, but not a very vigorous boil. While you're waiting for the water to get warm, work on the beets.
- Now there are 2 ways to do this. If you use fresh beets, you won't have to use as many, but it will be very messy. So - if you're using fresh beets, cut off the stems but KEEP THE LEAVES, clean the leaves, cut them up and put them in the pot. Then shred the beets on a grater and add in to the pot.
- If you're using canned beets, buy the sliced variety. Open up the can, and cut up the sliced beets to your preferred size - also, make sure to look out for black spots on the beets (you do not want to use those!) Add in the liquid from the can and the sliced beets. You'll notice which the canned beets are not as 'strong' as the fresh and your borscht will be a little weak - which's why I always keep an extra can and add in it in*last*. Otherwise - anemic borscht!
- After you've added all the vegetables and most of the beets (remember, you're keeping a reserve can if you're using canned beets), stir it up and sit down for a little while, letting the soup simmer. (simmer, NOT boil vigorously - for about 20 or possibly so min). Then return and give it a look. Does it need more beets If the color is dark and rich, proceed. If it looks a little light, add in more beets. (I usually use about 5 cans but always buy 6 or possibly 7 when I'm making borscht - I do not mind buying more b/c beets never go to waste in my house).
- Now for the fine tuning. Add in some salt. Add in some more salt. Be generous; my grandma never cut short on salt. Add in a few shakes of grnd pepper too.
- Now comes the very fun part - adding the lowfat sour cream. You do not want to just dump lowfat sour cream into the soup, because it will curdle. So, take a mug and take a bit of the broth out. Add in some flour and lowfat sour cream to the c. and stir with a fork till smooth. THEN place the lowfat sour cream mix into the pot. I find I usually do this about 3 times, each time filling the c. to about 1/4 way. Add in some beef bouillon crystals or possibly, as I said earlier, 1/2 a can of Beef broth. Add in a few shakes of garlic pwdr if you feel like it.
- We're almost done. Now, add in a Tbsp. of white vinegar and a Tbsp. of lemon juice. Add in about a tea-spoon of white sugar.
- Stir and taste. What do you think From this point it is just a matter of fine tuning. Some people will think it's finished right now, while others will say it needs more vinegar / etc. I always seem to add in a shake of salt, a Tbsp. more of vinegar and of lemon juice, and of course a bit more sugar. Rule of Thumb - if you add in something sour, you have to add in something sweet as well.
- When it's to your taste - eat it! I always have mine with a big dollop of lowfat sour cream in the bowl. Delicious!
- This is one of my all time favorite and most used recipes from this group. I have a passion for good borscht, just threw away my other recipes after I made this one. Lengthy, but very easy.
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