If I had to name one dish that best represents Ukrainian cuisine it would have to be borscht. It’s a hearty, hot soup made with beetroot which gives it a gorgeous burgundy red colour and sweetness. Depending on location, borscht recipes include a variety of other vegetables, spices and condiments served at the table. My recipe is based on flavours and textures I remember from my childhood when I ate borscht a couple of times a week. This recipe is totally vegetarian but you can definitely use beef broth and serve tender braised beef pieces in the soup, which is also very common.
- 1 medium brown onion, peeled and finely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 large celery stick, chopped
- 3 medium beets, peeled and grated
- 1 large carrot, peeled and grated
- 3 medium white potatoes, peeled and cut into small cubes
- 1/4 white cabbage, thinly sliced
- 1.5 litre vegetable stock
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp coriander seeds powder
- 3 tbsp apple cider or white vinegar
- 1 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tsp ghee
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2/3 black pepper
- A bunch of fresh dill
- 1 cup Sour cream
- Heat ghee and olive oil in a large saucepan until hot but not at smoking point. Add chopped onion and celery and sauté on medium heat for 3-4 minutes. Prepare the rest of the vegetables.
- Add grated carrots, beetroot, garlic and 1 teaspoon of salt. Stir and sauté together with onion and celery for a further 3 minutes.
- Add paprika, coriander seeds powder, black pepper, tomato paste and vinegar. Stir through for a minute and add the vegetable stock, bay leaves, potatoes and cabbage. Turn the heat up and bring to boil.
- Once boiling, turn the heat to low and cook covered for 25 minutes. Turn the heat off and taste for salt. Depending on the stock used, you might need to add another pinch or so of sea salt. The soup should taste a little sweet but still savoury with a little acidity from the vinegar. Potatoes should be nice and soft.
- Sprinkle 1 1/2 tablespoons of chopped fresh dill and let the borscht rest, with the lid on, for about 10 minutes before serving. I always add a dollop of sour cream to the serving bowl, which is then mixed through the soup when eating. You can easily leave the cream out it is the traditional way to eat borscht and it rounds out the flavours very nicely.
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 35 minutes
Number of servings: 4
Enjoy! Irey xo