Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Apple & Beet Borscht

Apples add a nice touch of sweetness to an otherwise simple, basic borscht. I used turkey stock, but chicken stock, or even a good vegetable stock if you wanted a vegetarian soup, would work well. We do like a bit of sour cream with our borscht. Alas, this was yogurt. Not quite the same.

I used Gala apples, because I had them, and they held together nicely. I would probably have prefered something a bit more tart, but it does need to be an apple that will hold up to cooking without turning to mush. Mutsu (Crispin) apples should work well, as would Ida Red, Empire, Spartan or Northern Spy.

1 hour, not including cooking the beets
8 servings

Apple and Beet Borscht
4 large beets
2 medium onions
3 or 4 stalks of celery
4 cups chopped red cabbage
4 medium tart apples
2 tablespoons mild vegetable oil
4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
4 cups beet cooking water
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1 to 2 tablespoons sugar
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon caraway seeds, ground
salt & black pepper to taste

Wash and trim the beets, and put them in a pot with plenty of water to cover them. Bring them to a boil and boil them steadily for about 30 minutes. Let them cool enough to handle - or this can be done the day before.

Peel and chop the onions. Wash, trim and dice the celery. Chop the red cabbage. Wash, core and chop the apples.

Heat the oil in a large skillet and gently cook the onions and celery until soft, but not browned. Add the red cabbage and apples, and cook for a few minutes more, stirring regularly, until they too are softened. Meanwhile, peel and dice the beets.

Put the beets into a soup pot with the chicken stock, 4 cups of the beet cooking water and the vinegar. Add the sugar, bay leaves, ground caraway seed, and the diced beets. Add the cooked down cabbage, apples, etc.

Simmer the soup for about 20 minutes until well amalgamated, and all the vegetables are tender. Serve with a dollop of yogurt or sour cream, if desired.

Last year at this time I made Hot Garlicky, Cheesy Broccoli or Cauliflower.

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