Borscht. A dish that seems to have as many authentic versions as it does connoisseurs. With so many grandma’s out here in the west cooking this hearty soup, it comes down to more of a personal preference than if you have the original recipe. Cook it with beef or ham, add potatoes, peas or lima beans, serve it hot or cold, and maybe add heavy or sour cream. It’s like Wheel of Fortune, with each segment a different version.
Growing up, the borscht we had around didn’t include any meat and was usually made with shredded carrots and beets. Without a clue where my mothers recipe might be, I was ecstatic to see Cheryl’s version over at the Backseat Gourmet which looked strangely familiar (and damn delicious). All things told, I think the credit goes to her Grandmother, so I’ll extend my gratitude to both!
Surprisingly straight forward, I went down the same path as Cheryl and roasted my beets for that extra level of flavour. I left the vegetables quite big, and also substituted 4 cups of the water for beef broth. The results were fantastic. So good in fact, that I burned my mouth trying to ‘over-sample’ during the simmering process. I started the dish pretty late at night, and eventually pulled everything off the stove around midnight. I then stood over the counter and ate 4 bowls in the quiet, glow of the night, before falling asleep and waking up paranoid that I was staining my bed sheets. Good thing I didn’t, because it might have scared me from finishing what was left the next day.
Man do I love beets.