Beetroot soup (Borsch)

Borsch is a Russian culinary classic. We love this recipe for its robust taste and vibrant colour. Slice ¼ of the vegetables into julienne strips (for looks!) and grate the rest (for ease of eating).

YOU WILL NEED

  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • ½ t (2,5 ml) Ina Paarman's Green Onion Seasoning
  • 3 T (45 ml) canola oil
  • 4-5 whole beetroot, peeled and grated
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and grated
  • 3 sticks of celery, sliced into fine rings or ¼ cup (60 ml) shredded basil
  • 6 cups (1½ litres) hot water
  • 4 T (60 ml) Ina Paarman's Chicken Stock Powder
  • 2 T (30 ml) lemon juice
  • 3 ripe tomatoes, halved and grated
  • ½ cup (125 ml) sour cream for garnish
Method

Sauté the onion pre-seasoned with Green Onion Seasoning in the canola oil for 10 minutes until soft and beginning to brown (don’t rush this – it adds to the flavour of the soup).

Add the beetroot, carrot and celery. Sauté to develop the flavour of the vegetables. It will take about 3 minutes.

Add the hot water, Chicken Stock Powder and lemon juice. Simmer covered with a lid for 30 minutes. Add the grated tomatoes and cook for a further 15 minutes. Taste for seasoning and if a little sour, add a teaspoon of sugar. Serve very hot with a dollop of sour cream in each bowl.

For a richer soup, suitable for a meal-in-one, 8 rashers of rindless streaky bacon can be fried in the oil before the onion is browned. Cook the onion in the bacon fat and sprinkle the crispy bacon bits over the soup just before serving.

* The lemon juice is important to bring out the red colour of the beetroot.

* The soup can also be blended to give a smooth velvety texture.

Ina's Tip

For a richer soup, suitable for a meal-in-one, 8 rashers of rindless streaky bacon can be fried in the oil before the onion is browned. Cook the onion in the bacon fat and sprinkle the crispy bacon bits over the soup just before serving.

* The lemon juice is important to bring out the red colour of the beetroot.
* The soup can also be blended to give a smooth velvety texture.

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