From the Ukraine, Borsch (beetroot soup) is not just a traditional Ukrainian daily meal, it’s a symbol of unity…Borsch is a dish with a national character. It is primarily associated with Ukraine.
This “association” smells delicious and promises warmth, comfort, fullness, and, thus, sense of peace. When Ukrainians choose to cook borsch as their everyday main dish – they express their patriotism and show their love for Ukraine.*
My husband has strong Ukrainian roots and his mother honours the traditional Ukrainian recipes that have been passed down in the family for generations.
That being said, my husband has strong ideas as to how the velvety red soup is to be made, (the way his mom did it 😉), and needless to say, I have a few ideas of my own, so while honouring the traditional recipes, I don’t believe a little variation takes anything away from the borsch tradition.
When it comes to soups and stews I’m a big believer that you don’t need to follow a recipe to the letter, or teaspoon ~ you can use a bit of intuition, consider things like food sensitivities, personal preferences, and wing it, to a point. Remember that when you make this recipe!
I usually refer to my reference books when it comes to recipes, my personal favourite recipe ‘bibles’ are the Harrowsmith Cookbooks.
Over the years our family has created our own version of borscht, we are pretty close to the traditional ~ and a bit of lemon makes a big difference.
I wanted to hop in here with this recipe in light of what is happening in our world right now, to honour the Ukraine and to squeeze in a warm nourishing soup recipe before moving onto spring.
Borscht, A Symbol of Peace
- 8-10 whole fresh beets
- 3 onions
- 3 cloves garlic
- 2 Tbsp. butter
- 2 medium potatoes
- 6 large carrots
- 1 can white beans
- 1 can kidney beans
- 5 cups stock, chicken, beef, or vegetable
- juice of 1 lemon, or 2 Tbsp. pure lemon juice
- sour cream, optional
- dill, optional
- salt and pepper to taste
- Chop onions into medium sized pieces
- Peel and chop beets and carrots into bitesize pieces
- Peel and finely chop garlic
- In a large pot, sauté onions over medium heat in olive oil for 5 minutes or they become transparent
- Add beets and stir, continue to sauté
- Add carrots and potatoes, saute
- Add garlic
- Sauté until vegetables become coated in oil and colour begins to brighten.
- Add stock, salt and pepper, and bring to a boil then reduce heat to simmer. Cover and cook for 20 minutes
- Add beans simmer another 10 minutes.
- When cooked and the colour is a rich deep red, remove from heat.
- Add the lemon juice, stir.
- Taste it! Adjust seasoning.
- If you wish you can buzz a bit of the soup with an immersion blender.
- Ladle the beautiful soup into bowls, top with sour cream and dill, say a prayer for peace and unity, and enjoy!