Vegetarian Borsch which probably should be spelled Borshch
Dr. Oksana, originally from Lviv, now of the USA
her Babcia Lidia’s recipe
Notes from Oksana: “I keep my borshch
vegetarian, but if you want to make it chicken-based, you can use chicken broth as a base for the borshch. I always experiment,
my borshch is never exactly the same :), but we enjoy all versions of it. Eat it with sour cream, add sour cream right before
serving. Some people add lemon juice and minced garlic. They say borshch is more tasty next day, and perfect after it stays
in the fridge for two days.”
Here is a starter recipe for her excellent borshch.
3 beet roots
2 – 3 laurel (bay) leaves
4 – 5 black pepper corns
salt to taste
2 – 3 large carrots sliced
1 parsley root, chopped (Here in sunny
Marion Ohio, USA, parsley root is hard to
find so I often use some parsnip root. It works for me. D)
(large) beans from can or cook the beans separately
1 medium onion, diced
minced garlic, optional
“I cook my beet roots whole, without peeling, separately from anything else, till they are ready (softish),
which takes about an hour, or more,” Dr. O.
This is the way I did it (D). Often I roast the beets for borshch but for this I boiled well scrubbed beets
in about a liter (quart) of water and then set the beets aside. The purple cooking water was strained through a coffee filter
and became the soup base.
soup base to a boil and add laurel leaves, pepper corns, about a teaspoon of salt (and for D a few sprinkles of garlic salt).
Let the spices steep with the base for a few minutes.
Thinly slice the carrots and parsley root, dice the onion, rub the skins off the cooked beet roots and grate
with the larger openings on your grater.
Mince the garlic if you are using – depends on taste and you know your taste.
Remove the pepper corns from the base, bring
it up to a gentle boil and add the carrots and parsley root.
Sauté the diced onion and when they are almost translucent add the minced garlic if using and sauté
all but do not brown.
When the carrots
and parsley (or parsnip) are appropriately soft add the sautéed onion and garlic, the cooked lima beans and the grated
just get to the boiling point, and turn off right away, do not let it boil, or you’ll lose that beautiful burgundy color.”
Allow the flavors to meld. Check for taste, does it need to be reseasoned?
Would you care to add some tartness with lemon juice, does it need some salt?
Dr. O continues, “If you like it more spicy, add Vegeta before you add the beets, let the water boil
for 4 – 5 minutes.”
from Wikipedia: Vegeta is produced by Podravka, a company in Koprivnica, Croatia. The ingredients include salt, dehydrated vegetables (carrot, parsnip,
onions, celery, parsley leaves), monosodium glutamate, sugar, cornstarch, spices, disodium inosinate, riboflavin (for coloring).
You can find
it at Amazon.com, two kilos (2.2 pounds) for about $9.00 plus shipping.
Not bad price for that much spice I guess.
I haven’t tried it. D
As I have
been typing this recipe I have been eating two bowls of this very nice borshch. It’s light, lively and tasty. It’s
also easy to put together. Wish I had some dark bread to go with, but then I would have bread crumbs in the key board! As
it is I have a purple stain right there on my white T shirt – see it, right there in the middle! For real.
I thank Dr. Oksana for the
recipe and her personal comments. I especially thank Babcia Lidia for helping to raise such a nice lady.
Enjoy, all the way from Lviv,