Lately in the food-blogging community, schii (Russian cabbage soup) seems like “the thing” to make. Smitten Kitchen, Sassy Radish, and Yulinka all posted some great photos. Apparently, The New York Times is what set it all off.
I guess it’s fitting, with the cold weather setting in…. who doesn’t love soup when it’s cold? And Russians know soup!
While I broke from the trend of making schii, I did continue the Russian-soup trend, with my Borsch.
I don’t like borsch (I don’t like beets), but Stas has been aching for some Russian food lately, and I like having soup available on the weekends for him – for a quick lunch option.
1/2 whole chicken, meat removed from bone and cut into nice pieces
3 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
1/2 head of cabbage, shredded
a few thin slices of red pepper
2 chicken bullion cubes
2 medium-large carrots, peeled and shredded
1 medium beet, peeled and shredded
1 medium onion, diced
1 6-oz. can tomato paste
1/2 stick butter
salt, to taste
sour cream, to garnish
fresh dill, to garnish
fresh parsley, to garnish
Place chicken pieces in large pot and fill with water. Put on stove over medium heat; bring to a boil, skimming off any foam that forms.
After 30 minutes, add the potatoes:
Cook for 10 minutes and add the cabbage, red pepper slices, bullion cubes, and a generous sprinkle of salt :
(feel free to make your own stock. I make my own every so often, once I have accumulated enough chicken carcasses)
Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large pan over medium heat. Add the onions and saute for 5 minutes, until they start to brown. Add the shredded beets and carrots, and the can of tomato paste. Using a ladle, pour in some of the soup broth to make the mixture easier to work with. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
10-15 minutes after adding the cabbage, pepper, bullion cubes, and salt, the beet/onion/carrot/tomato paste mixture should be ready. Add it to the pot and stir. Cook for 3-5 minutes, then cover and turn off the heat.
serves a lot 🙂
A few notes about my borsch:
- The red pepper isn’t necessary. Stas likes the little bit of sourness that it adds.
- Again, feel free to make your own chicken stock or use cans of it, rather than using bullion cubes.
- Use more or less vegetables, depending on your own preference. Just BEWARE that it IS possible to use too much beets. See the above picture of the beets, onions, and carrots on the plate? That’s how I typically judge how much to use: enough to fit on 1/3 of a plate. One time, I used way too much – and Stas could tell right away.
- If you don’t have tomato paste, you can also use tomato juice. I’ve done this twice, using V-8, and I just eyeballed the amount.
- This soup is not an exact science, so play around with it, be relaxed about it, and enjoy it!