Monday, November 25, 2013

Chunky Borscht

This recipe comes from Food and Wine. I thought it was great - nice hearty wintry and a very unusual color. The soup is a bright shade of ruby red! If your spouse or your guests are picky eaters, be careful to prep them for the color because it is intense.

I substituted fresh beets for the canned variety. I used 1 lb., tossed them in some olive oil and roasted them in the oven for about 25 minutes on 400 degrees. I then added them to the soup with the parsnips, celery root and turnips. You can also substitute potatoes for the turnips or just add some potatoes too. I would roast them first like the fresh beets.

2 tablespoons cooking oil
1 onion, chopped
2 parsnips, peeled and cut into thin slices
1 small celery root (about 3/4 pound), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
1 turnip, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
1 3/4 teaspoons salt
2 cups drained diced canned beets (one 15-ounce can)
1 1/2 cups drained diced canned tomatoes (one 15-ounce can)
3 1/2 cups canned low-sodium beef broth or homemade stock
3 cups water
1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
1/2 pound kielbasa, halved lengthwise and sliced crosswise
1/3 cup plus 3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
1/4 cup sour cream

In a large saucepan, heat the oil over moderately low heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the parsnips, celery root, turnip, and 1 teaspoon of the salt. Cover and cook until the vegetables start to soften, about 5 minutes.

Add the beets, tomatoes, broth, water, the remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt, and the pepper. Bring to a boil. Add the kielbasa. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, until the vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes. Stir in the 1/3 cup dill. Serve topped with the sour cream and the remaining 3 tablespoons dill.

NOTES Variation: Instead of the kielbasa, you can use the same amount of Black Forest ham, or any good smoked ham, cut into small chunks.

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