Monday, January 27, 2014

A Souper Day

Why is it that at the mention of “borscht,” the initial response of so many is “Eew!”  Borscht is one of the best things going.  I recall that when Becca was little, I made a lovely big pot borscht, and she declared that she hated borscht and wasn’t going to eat it.  I pointed out that she couldn’t hate it as she had never had it, and furthermore, she liked soup in general and also liked other beet dishes.  No matter!  She did not like borscht.  I said that I would give her a bowl of it and she should at least try it.  She agreed to take a taste.  I left the room for some reason, and when I returned, she said she had tasted it, and in fact, had eaten it all up.  Minutes later, I pointed out that she had not eaten it at all, but has surreptitiously returned her portion to the pot.  She was astonished, and could not imagine how I could have known this.  I told her to take a look at the soup in the pot and see what she noticed.  She realized that the borscht, formerly a brilliant ruby red, now had a pinkened area in the middle where her soup, along with its sour cream, had mixed in with the rest. She was impressed with my Holmesian interpretation of clues.

I mentioned to her that Ana and I were going to make borscht, and her initial response was, of course, “Eew!.  But then she said that she actually liked borscht, and was thinking back to her initial introduction to it.  I had completely forgotten about this incident, but I did remember how, as a three year old, she insisted that she had eaten gazpacho before, and hated it. By the time she was four, she finally agreed to taste it, and ever after,  gazpacho was a big favorite.

Brilliant Borscht

2/3 cups Great Northerni beans, soaked overnight

1 large onion chopped,
4 cloves garlic coarsely chopped,

3 fist-sized beets, peeled and diced,
2 large carrots, ditto,
1 medium potato, diced (no need to peel),
2/3 cup chopped celery,
1 bunch chard, torn and with ribs removed
24 oz (?) can of diced tomatoes
6 cups vegetable broth, chicken style (including the bean soaking liqud)
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste ( don’t stint on the pepper)
Dill – fresh if available, dried if not.

Parsley, flat leafed,  about ½ cup

Yogurt for topping
Dill for topping on the yogurt


In your largest pressure cooker, sauté the onions until golden, add the garlic and give it a few more stirs, till the garlic softens.

Add the ingredients – vegetables and stock, setting aside the parsley and yogurt.

Bring pressure cooker to high pressure and cook 10 minutes.  Quick release pressure and check to see that beans are thoroughly cooked.  If not (as was the case with us,) either bring to pressure and cook another minute or two.

Add the parsley and simmer for another minute or two.

Top the soup with a blob of yogurt or sour cream and sprinkle on some delightful dill. 

Normally, borscht has cabbage, but I was trying to clear out my vegetable bin and avoid a trip to the store.  Hence, no cabbage in this one.


Rebecca Ross said...

I like to add some mushrooms to my borscht, now that I eat it.

Lorette said...

Yum. I've always loved beets, ever since I discovered that they came in something besides cans from the grocery. I've never had borscht with beans, this will be on my "to cook" list soon!