Real Russian Borsh

by | Sep 22, 2010 | Good Eats, New this month | 3 comments

With the rainbow of fresh root vegetables at the farmer’s market, now is the perfect time for this soul warming, rib-sticking, just-like-my-Grandma used to make it recipe. You can use meat broth and add stewing beef together with the vegetables; vegetarian version is just as delicious! Borsh is ready in about an hour, little faster if you can find some helping chopping hands.

You will need a visit to the farmer’s market to get some beets – with greens preferably; carrots, potatoes, an onion, sweet bell pepper, a cabbage, garlic, green onions and a variety of herbs you like – I use parsley, mint, dill and basil, but this is definitely not written in stone. Pick up a can of diced tomatoes ( 14 Oz), some sour cream and Russian Rye bread ( they have it at Save-On) on your way home – preferably without added spices; although, I have to say, in time of need I’ve used salsa, crushed tomatoes, tomato juice or whatever else I had on hand. Once you get home – brew yourself a cup of tea before you start.

In a large frying pan heat 2 Tbsp of olive oil, and then add 1 medium-sized chopped onion; 3 to 4 medium sized beets, cut in long strips ( you can chop them, too – it’s just my Grandma always did the strips) and 3 to 4 medium sized carrots, chopped. Stir often up until they turn nice and golden.

Meanwhile fill 2/3 of a large pot with water and bring it to boil. You know how old recipes are – a pinch of that, a handful of this; we’ll adjust the consistency once we get going.

Once the water boils,  reduce to simmer and add salt to taste and cubed potatoes ( I don’t peel mine). If you have a potato allergy, turnips will do just beautifully. Let them simmer for 5 to 8 minutes.

Add the sauteed beet – onion – carrot mix.

Add the bell pepper, cut in long thin strips.

While the things are cooking, shred the cabbage; I prefer to do it by hand – processor shreds things too fine and they overcook. Add enough cabbage into a pot to get the consistency of a stew – not too thick, though. From here, you are on a home run.

Let you borsh simmer for about 5 minutes and then add 3/4 to a full can of diced tomatoes – keep tasting it to get just enough tartness.

Chop the beet greens ( if using) and add them into the pot. Wait 2 – 3 minutes.

Very finely chop your herbs, green onions and garlic; add the mixture into the pot; bring it to boil and turn off the heat immediately.

Cover with lid and let it rest, while you set the table.

Here is the really traditional way to eat borsh: cut a slice of rye bread and rub it all over with a slice of garlic; ladle the borsh into a bowl, add some sour cream and fresh dill. Enjoy!

From an Ayurvedic perspective, borsh is an excellent one-bowl meal: it includes all 6 tastes. Borsh will decrease Vata and Kapha dosha, while slightly increasing Pitta dosha.

Like this recipe? Tried it? Let me know how it turned out!

Be sure to come back next Wednesday –  there might be all Italian meal waiting for you!

Hey, my name is Julia

Living with chronic pain has taught me to look for solutions in unlikely places –  places where most people see only problems.

Over the years I’ve gotten to be pretty good at this problem-solving and silver-lining finding thing.

So good that I felt compelled to share what I’ve learned and help others to find their sea legs while navigating, living, and winning their battle with chronic pain.