The secret of Russian Borscht…

Has ir happened to you that someone told you that the only Russian soup they know of is Borscht. However, when you genuinely want to figure out how on earth you cook this one, they simply smile at you and say something in the genre: “Ask Google”.

Today, my dear readers, is the day I am telling you everything you need to know about Borscht. Let’s just start by saying that there are two types of this soup: one that is made with meat stock and pieces of beef, and the other, the one that is more simple, is prepared with a bunch of vegetables put together (afterall, this is what each soup is about, and it all depends on the mixture you put in your soup)

Its quite quick to make, really. You just have to have a little bit of patience and wait. The secret is in vinegar and tomato paste, it all works out for the best if you pace yourself and put just the right amount. The more tomato paste there is, the less red you’ll get as the end result. The more vinegar you put, the more zest there is.

This is how I make it:

Ingredients:

1 medium beet, 2 carrots, 1 big onion, 1.5 liter of vegetable stock (or you may make it simply with water), half a cabbage, 3 potatoes, 4 cloves of garlic, tomato paste, vinegar, parsley.

The Works:

Get your veggie stock in a saucepan, let it come to a boiling point (or water) Dice the onion and your carrots. Put them in the frying pan (onion first), let them fry for 2 minutes until the onion changes color and becomes transparent. While these two are working together, slice your cabbage into narrow bands, peel the skin off the beet and shred it! Get the mixture of onions and carrots into the stock, cabbage as well. Do not forget to peel the potatoes and dice them nicely, get them together with the party.

Wait for about 10 minutes, let all the veggetables soak  each others juices in. While those are cooking, get working on the beet. You have shredded it already, so no worries there! All that is left to do is to fry it a little without any oil on a frying pan, about 2 minutes. Then, add some tomato paste (I added about 3 tablespoons), mix, let it fry once more.  Take vinegar and add 2 tablespoons into the mix, stir a little.  Wait for a couple of minutes, then add it to the stock. Mix, so that you’ll have a nice even red-orange color.

Slice garlic cloves and cut some parsley. Save these two for last, as you have to let Borsch to actually become one. *Taste your food! Always! If you feel like there is not enough zest for you, and the vinegar you put refuses to work the way it’s supposed to, don’t be afraid to put some more, just taste it afterwards! After some time waiting, add parsley and diced garlic, mix and…wait a little, for about 5 minutes. Let garlic do its job. Of couse, do not forget about salt and pepper, these according to your own taste.

Your first Borscht is ready! Enjoy every bit of it!

Yours truly,

Katya.

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Welcome to my childhood – Chicken today!

Do you remember when your mommy would give you a bowl of hot chicken soup everytime you were cold, or worse, got sick? I do. For me, this bowl of soup was a symbol of her warmth, her care, her love. One of the many…So, cooking this soup today brought all the memories back. And though, I am not a mommy myself (for now), I am sure I will teach my kids how to prepare it someday (one of my colorfull dreams)

I recall the smile on my face everytime I put a spoon of this soup in my mouth. Priceless…I always liked the green stuff (parsley, green onions) swimming inside it. Made me the hapiest kid in the world…

* I gotta say that I let myself distort the original recipe a little bit, I added mushrooms. Let you know how it tastes. According to my loving boyfriend, pretty darn good!

You know you want it!

You know you want it!

 

 

To share it with you in practice and not just in words, here it is, one of my family traditions, right from the heart:

 

 

 

 

Ingredients:

Chicken – 500 g (preferably chiken breast), carrots – 2-3, onion-1 – 1.5, mushrooms – 6-7 small ones, chicken stock cubes or powder (3-4 table spoons), macaroni (those very thin, small ones you usually would use for soups) – a handful, parsley, pepper, salt, garlic – 4 cloves.

The Works:

Dice the onions, carrots, and slice the mushrooms. Prepare a frying pan. First fry the onions, see when they change color, then add the carrots. Mix together and wait about 3 minutes. Prepare for the next step. Fry the mushrooms separately, also for about 3 minutes. *Needless to say that while you are working hard on frying all these, it is important to also see that your chicken is enjoying boiling water in a saucepan. Take out the chicken.  Now see, you got the chicken stock from all that chicken in the water…Yes. you can cheat a little and add stock cubes as well, it will only bring out the flavor.

Throw in the macaroni, and all the veggies . Wait for about 10 minutes. Now, so you won’t waste any of your precious time, get to slicing the chicken (it does not have to be a work of art. don’t worry!)  So, when the slicing is done, you can immediately thow it into the soup. Again, be patient, you have to wait a little. While waiting, prepare your parsley for throw in. And, of course, the garlic. Add them in last, wait while garlic shares its flavor with the others (just for about 2 minutes), and turn the whole thing off.

Congratulations! You have prepared the soup of my childhood! Welcome to my Childhood!

I really want you to dive in!

Thanks for reading!

Want to experiment with chicken soup further, these look good to me too:

My variation of Harcho soup (Georgian lamb soup)

Today, since I had a little bit of time before work, I needed something fast but tasty to make for dinner…So I came up with my own version of Harcho soup, which originally is made with lamb. But since, lamb is quite hard to come by, I have decided to again show my creative side and cross Italy and Georgia together. What I got is a colorful, tasteful. yet simple soup that can be made by everyone, including the beginners of cooking.

It is percicely this kind of soup that warms up your heart during the rainy season. Imagine coming home in the rain, setting up the table for dinner, and there it is… A HOT AND SPICY soup that warms up your whole body, starting from your toes…

The thing is, afterwards, you have almost no need to wash the dishes and waste your precious time…instead, you can curl up into a warm blanket and enjoy your free time.

Ingredients:

Havea good evening

Havea good evening

3-4 tomatoes. 4 table spoons of tomato paste, 1 table spoon of butter, 4 cloves of garlic, 2 onions, 2-3 celery sticks, half a cup of rice, 2 medium carrots, parsley, green onion, red hot ground chili – depends on the level of “hotness” you want to achieve, salt, curry powder – 2 table spoons.

The Works:

Dice the onions, the tomatoes into small cubes. Chop up the celery  and the greens. Oh, and of course, don”t forget about your carrots and garlic! Take a big saucepan, heat it up nicely. Add the butter and let it melt for a while. You can add all the veggies in just when you hear the butter wispering…Let the party start! Add all the veggies (except for the greens), stir for several minutes…Then, take a half cup of rice and mix it in. Afterwards, you can relax a little bit, and let those guys talk to each other but only for a bit.. Pour in about a liter- litter and a half of water, and let it boil, let the rice cook. Do not forget to sprinkle your dish with parsley and green onions, add salt, tomato paste and chili. Wait for about 2 minutes and…it is…LEGEN..wait for it…DARY! LEGENDARY!

Vegetable Soup – The Green Adventure

For those of you who love simple, mood elevating foods…

I remember the first time I prepared this soup…The smile on my sweetheart’s face was very rewarding. *And just to note, although I have been cooking for a while now, then, this smile meant more to me than any kind of compliment. It was the first time I had finally understood that great cooking will be one of my missions in life. To make others happy.

The important thing is, no matter how much of this soup you eat, it does not feel like you have added extra weight. The mix of broccoli and Brussels sprouts surely gives you an unusual feeling of “green” mood. I cannot say that this recipe have been in my family for a while, but I can say this: “I have created it myself!” Of course, and maybe there are variations of it, especially with the age of technology that we now live in, but, each time I would be making it, I would add something new, something of myself, a piece of my soul…So, in that way, it is all me, it is all mine…

You can even say that vegetables are dancing tango, a passionate dance that takes your words away afterwards….

P.S. Anyone who loves cream-soup can also create their own passion.

To illustrate it to you even better, here it comes:

Ingredients:

Vegetable stock – about 1 liter, onion – 1, Brussels sprouts – a handful, broccoli – a handful, potatoes – 3-4 medium ones, red beans – a handful, garlic – 4-5 cloves (yes, I like a lot), green onion – nicely diced, parsley, pepper, salt, celery, and last but not least – a handful of mushrooms.

The Works:

Dice and saute your onion. Give it a chance to dance with the vegetable stock afterwards…Then come the sprouts, the little guys

Should look something like this....I also added pees.

Should look something like this….I also added pees.

that don’t want to be cut in pieces, but rather, come to the party piece by piece. AW…Broccoli…This nice lady needs to be prepared, like all of us, to the first date, for example…Slice it nicely, and send her off to the ball…Potatoes also cannot come unprepared, slice them as well into cubes and add to the mix. Those colorful little guys called beans, let them shine through, do not interfere into what they are doing to the soup, bring them as they are to the soup. The green onion, invite it to the party, let it be nicely sliced. Afterwards, mix in the mushrooms, but, firstly, let them have a little gathering of their own, and saute them in a separate pan. Don’t forget to add garlic, also diced into pieces. Of course, saving the best for last, add salt and pepper, those guys really bring out the flavor!

Get the party started, let it cook on small fire for about half hour to 40 minutes, only then, you add parsley. It is like one or two of those people who are always late to a ball. Let it boil for couple more minutes, and Enjoy!

P.S. For this soup, you can also make croutons and then,  feel truly French!

Thank you for visiting!