Borscht, Beautiful, Borscht.

BorschtI don’t know about you, but I find November kind of a dreary month. Where I live it is wet and cold, with a time change thrown in that makes for long, dark evenings. Not that I’m complaining – (okay, well maybe just a teensy bit of whining) – because there is a bright side. Long, dark evenings are ideal for curling up in PJs in front of the fireplace, especially with a big bowl of hearty soup. How big? Entirely up to you. Bigger the better I say.

Another bright side is that local markets are still carrying hardy vegetables like beets and cabbage and these are perfect for making one of my childhood faves. Borscht.

Now, let me say up front that there are about a million different versions of borscht, but this version is the best. How can I say so with such confidence, you ask? Easy. It’s my mama’s. And it has shortcuts* – mama-approved shortcuts.

Mama’s Borscht

  • 1 green pepper
  • 1medium onion
  • *1 bag shredded cole slaw mix (you can, of course, shred your own cabbage and grate up a carrot)
  • 2 large cans diced tomatoes
  • *1 regular can whole baby beets (you can also cook up your own beets)
  • 2-3 large potatoes
  • Butter
  • 1 c whipping cream
  • Sea salt and ground pepper
  • Chili powder (Nana’s secret ingredient)
  • Fresh dill

Peel and put potatoes on to boil. Meanwhile heat two cans of tomatoes and add approx 1/4 lb of butter to melt. Saute green pepper and onion in more butter until soft. Add cole slaw mix and saute with a little more butter. When potatoes are cooked, mash with beets and cream and – yes- more butter. Reserve potato water and beet juice. Add sauteed cabbage mixture and mashed beet-potato mixture to heated tomatoes. Stir. Add reserved beet juice-potato water to soup to desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add a generous pinch of chili powder. Add a tidge more butter. Really. Simmer for at least 30 minutes. Do not boil. Add a generous bunch of chopped fresh dill before serving.

Serve with a dollop of sour cream and garnish with fresh dill. Put on your PJs. Indulge.

 

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About Vicki

I’m a coach and consultant and in my spare time I like to cook and play house. I believe happy idleness is a purposeful pathway to a contented life. And I am happiest either in my pajamas or an apron – or both.

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