Thursday, April 28, 2011

Freezer Fare: Didimae's Borscht

After experimenting for several years I developed this wonderful
borscht, which is now one of my mainstays.
The cooking method “gathers flavours”, and each sip gives you a wealth
of tasting experience. 

Delicious and fortifying, it’s great for lunch, and also makes a satisfying
dinner accompanied with either biscuits, potato pancakes or perogies
(and of course sour cream!).

This recipe makes a large batch (10-12 cups).  Freeze in individual bowl-sized
servings.  To heat up, just add frozen to a saucepan with a splash of water,
cover, and simmer on medium-low for 5 minutes.  Break up the soup with a
fork into chunks, re-cover the pan, and simmer for 3-5 more minutes (or of
course you can reheat in the microwave on high for 3-5 minutes).

Didimae’s Borscht

1 tsp olive oil
2 medium red beets, whole
1 medium yellow beet, whole
2 stalks celery, halved and sliced
1 leek, white with some green, sliced
1 red onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, finely sliced
½ small red cabbage, chopped
15 baby carrots, whole
3 small red potatoes, chunked
2 x 28-oz cartons organic chicken broth
2 chicken bouillon cubes
1-2 cups water
1 14-oz can tomato sauce
1 tsp dried dill
½ tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper, or to taste
Sour cream (I use lite sour cream)

Saute the onion, leek and celery in 1 tsp olive oil in a stockpot or
Dutch Oven on medium heat till softened and beginning to turn golden,
covering the pan half-way through. Uncover, add the garlic, and sauté
for 2 minutes.  Add the broth, 1 cup water, and the bouillon cubes.

Scrub the beets, then trim all around the root ends and top ends with a paring
knife, leaving the rest of the peel on.  Add to the pot along with the cabbage
and carrots.

Cover the pot, cook down for at least 1 hour; remove the beets and carrots.

Add the potatoes, dried dill, salt & pepper, and tomato sauce to the soup pot.

Peel the cooked beets; dice or grate them and add back to the pot.  Chop
the cooked carrots and add to the pot. 

Cook down for another hour or so, adding a cup more water if mixture is too
thick. Partially (coarsely) mash some of the vegetables right in the pot.

Serve with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkling of fresh or dried dill.

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