Borscht is a hearty Eastern European soup that can be served hot or cold, though in this weather I’d recommend serving it warm. It is an extremely versatile soup whose ingredients can be easily adapted to what’s in season (I’ve enjoyed it with golden beets and corn, for example!). Regardless, it is very nourishing and warming on a chilly autumn night. I’ve noted a few possible changes in the ingredient list below. Cabbage is a common ingredient in borscht, but the kale in week 3’s CSA box is a simple substitution. It is traditional to enjoy borscht with slices of dark rye bread.
3 tablespoons butter or olive oil
1 medium onion or 2 small shallots, small dice
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 cups beets, peeled and coarsely grated
1 small head green cabbage or 1 bunch kale, chopped
2 carrots, diced
2 parsnips, diced
1 large potato, peeled and diced
2 qts (8 cups) beef or vegetable broth
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 bay leaf
1/2 tablespoon whole juniper berries (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
Small handful of dill, chopped
Sour cream (optional, garnish)
1. Heat butter or oil in a large soup pot or Dutch oven. Add onions and cook over medium low heat until they start to soften. Add garlic and beets and continue cooking until beets are tender.
2. Add remaining veggies (cabbage, carrots, parsnips, and potato) to the pot and stir to mix all ingredients together.
3. Add broth, bay leaf, juniper, and lemon juice. Bring soup to a low simmer and continue to cook for 20-30 minutes- until potatoes are cooked through. Taste occasionally and season with salt and pepper to your liking.
4. To serve, dish into bowls and top with sour cream, cracked pepper, and fresh dill.