Friday, January 5, 2018

A Real Winter Soup

Happy New Year, everybody! I am done with cookies and meat and cheese balls.  Let's put a pot of real old-fashioned soup on the stove because it is so cold outside that school has been canceled for the day (yes, really, how ridiculous).

I love making a pot of soup that stays on the stove for a long time, throwing in some more veggies as I run through the kitchen, tasting a bit later and adding more something.  Worcestershire sauce or fish sauce is a bit of soup magic.  Or freshly ground pepper or a bay leaf.  I love building the flavors of soup over a few hours.  Throw in a loaf of fresh bread because I'm home all day out of the cold, and that is why I love winter suppers.

I had some radish tops, so I put them in the borsch too.  And look at Phoebe, just totally happy with her new easel in the winter sun. Her big thing these days is dressing and undressing; it's rarely appropriate to the circumstances, which cracks us all up.

Russian Borsch - from the More With Less with tweaks by me, and please taste and tweak as you go along; I tried to accurately record what I did, but ultimately, soup-making is an art which varies with mood and pantry realities

If you have a beef bone, preferably a meaty, fatty bone, from roast beef, simmer it in 2 quarts water in a soup pot for at least 12 hours with 1 tsp. salt and 1 Tbsp. vinegar. I did mine 18 hours, starting the night before. (More With Less recommends a mutton neck or lamb bones - good for you if you can get those). And if your cupboard is bare and you have no bone, use whatever meat stock or broth you have.

Take out and discard the bone. Add to the stock:
1 large onion, chopped
2 big potatoes, diced
1 medium red beet, shredded
1 cup pureed tomatoes
1 tsp. fresh-ground pepper
1 dried red pepper
3 bay leaves
1 Tbsp. dill seed

Simmer covered for 1 hour or so. Taste, and if the broth seems thin, I like to add some powdered beef bouillon instead of just salt.

4 cups shredded green cabbage
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 tsp. dillweed

Simmer another 30 minutes or so.  Taste and add more salt if needed (or a splash of Worcestershire!). Serve with dollops of plain yogurt or several tablespoons of heavy cream in each bowl. When you stir it in, the borsch will turn creamy red-purple, which is exactly what I remember from Russia.


Juliana said...

That is a perfect looking Russian soup! Exactly what I remember as well. I should make a pot myself...

sillygirl said...

I also put in carrots if I have any. I buy them in 10 lb. bags so halfway through (there are only two of us in this household) before they start getting furry I roast them whole and then pack them in plastic or containers and put them in the freezer. That way I have already prepared carrots for soup or a stew.

Becky said...

I love soup. I've made a few pots of it this week - chicken rice and a a butter bean/arugula soup. I also made a few pots of broth and canned it, so I can quick start a pot of soup in the coming weeks. One of my favorite farmers has started offering bags of chicken bones for broth, which is so handy! I roasted a bag of them the other day, then turned some into broth and stuck the rest into the freezer for another day.

Lana said...

I have been making a big pot of soup early in the week and we eat it the rest of week for lunches. Last week was potato soup and this week minestrone. Hot bread is a must for sure and my bread machine has been hard at work.

Jenny said...

Soups are the best in winter, and after the feasting of Christmas, I find them most satisfying, too. Thanks for the simple instructions regarding beef broth. Keep warm!!

Shauna said...

Sounds good. I've got a big pot of hamburger soup on the go today, with most of the same ingredients, minus the beets. Haven't done a borsch in a while, good idea.

Tammy said...

I asked my German Mennonite grandma for her borsht recipe and she gave me a chicken soup recipe....with no beets or cabbage. She does find it hard to part with her recipes, but seriously, Grandma?! LOL

Lisa said...

I like your method of making soup, nice and slow! I also like Sillygirl's idea for the carrots.

Mary Ann said...

I made a chicken/turkey soup this week. Thought of making it in my Instant Pot but the thought of letting it simmer on the stovetop was so much cozier to me. And it smelled so good all day. Plus, I used up some broth and meat from the very full freezer!

I received the More With Less cookbook for Christmas and cannot wait to try more recipes from it. My mom has used it for years so I have already used some of the recipes from the book. I've loved reading through it; such a great food philosophy.

Margo said...

sillygirl, what a great idea for carrots!

Mary Ann, have fun with your new More with Less! It's definitely my go-to cookbook.

jenny_o said...

I used to love snow days for the chance to do extended cooking or baking like you have done here. It makes the house so cozy and smells and tastes so good.