This is traditional Eastern European soup.
Unfortunately at some point it got bad reputation because it is known mostly as a beetroot stock (Polish and Baltic version).
Well, although beetroot is still one of the ingredients of this recipe, as a person, who hates strong beetroot smell, I would like to assure you that REAL BORSCH has nothing to do with that dark magenta smelly liquid you once unfortunately came across.
Also (surprise-surprise!) it is quite low in calories dish, although one of the ingredients is biff.
Ingredients are very common and available everywhere.
To prepare borsch you will need
Saucepan 5 liters
Large grater for vegetables
Saucepan 2 liters
Main dish ingredients:
300-400 grams of lean biff (I also recommend it to be organic)
1 white cabbage (5 inches in diameter)
1 big white onion
1 big carrot
2 big (3 inches diameter) or 3 small (1.5-2 inches diameter) beetroots
2 potatoes (size of big onion)
Ketchup or tomato paste
Olive oil (or any other cooking oil)
Black pepper powder
Sauce: Soured (French) cream
Fill you main saucepan with water in half and boil the water.
If you can buy ready cooked beetroot (without vinegar!!!) in supermarket – do it, you will save yourself some time. If your beetroots are raw, cook them for about an hour (until you can easy pierce it by fork) in a smaller saucepan.
Cut biff to small pieces. I usually do it as cubes 1 cm x 1 cm x 1 cm (1 cm – little bit less than half an inch). Put your meat into boiling water. Remember – after couple of minutes of meat boiling unpleasantly looking foam will arise. Get rid of it!
Cut cabbage to narrow (quarter of an inch) and not long (1-2 inches) pieces and add to the saucepan. Add boiling water if there is not enough.
Rind potatoes and cut them to small cubes. Add to boiling water to bear company to biff and cabbage.
Cut your onion to small slices, grate a carrot. Heat frying pan, add about 3-4 table spoons of cooking oil and heat it too. Then place onion and carrot into frying pan. Roast, stirring from time to time until all mix become very soft and roasted. Then add 4-5 table spoons of Ketchup (or tomato paste) and roast for more 4-5 minutes.
Put all into big saucepan with boiling meat and vegetables.
Rind cooked beetroot. Even if you have bought it from a supermarket rind it anyway. Otherwise outer sides will become unpleasant black colour. Cut beetroot to as small pieces as you can, or you can even grate it if you want. Put to your boiling mix.
Add salt, add little bit of black paper powder.
Cook for another 5-10 minutes.
Whole process supposes to take about 1 hour and you will get quite thick, rich red soup.
Serve hot with:
1. Table spoon of soured cream and table spoon of chopped parsley (be aware – soured cream is extremely high in calories!)
2. Table spoon of chopped parsley and 3-4 peeled garlic cloves which you suppose to bite together with bread.
Do not mix soured cream and raw garlic – your stomach may not like it.
I know it sounds very odd but Russian borsch is tastier next day. Do not ask me why, I have no idea but it is true.