Number 9: Borscht

27 Jan

I don’t particularly like beets.  Or cabbage.  Or carrots.  Or soup.  So clearly borscht is something that I was not looking forward to making.  Also, I have not one drop of Eastern European blood in me, so this whole thing was very foreign to me.  I didn’t know what borscht was supposed to taste like, but all I could imagine was flavorless cabbage in a bowl.  Ugh.

After lots of searching, I found the best-sounding recipe I could (this one, to be precise), which was actually for Ukrainian borscht, not Russian.  And after going to the grocery store and practically clearing out the entire produce section, I was ready to roll.  Let me tell you, making borscht is a lot of work.  I spent nearly an hour just doing the prep work: peeling, chopping, shredding, oh my!  Shredding the beets was particularly lovely, as they stained everything (including me) bright pink.


But the vibrant color looks so pretty on a bright green plate, doesn’t it?

By the end of all that peeling and chopping and shredding and mincing and stirring (not to mention doing 2 loads of laundry at the same time), I felt like I should be wearing a babushka.  In fact, this is exactly how I felt:

The actual cooking process was actually pretty quick, though, and before I knew it, it was time to eat!  I served it with a dollop of sour cream on top and a hunk of crusty bread on the side.  I was pleasantly surprised by my first bite.  The beet and tomato flavors dominated the soup but unfortunately, the soup itself wasn’t particularly flavorful.  The spoonfuls with sour cream in them were wonderful, though.  Something about that sour cream completely transformed the soup, and I ended up drowning my soup in the stuff.

THE VERDICT
Meh.  It was okaaaaaay.  Because the borscht was such a quick-cooking dish, I think it might be one of those “it’ll taste better tomorrow” kinds of things.  The flavors weren’t as bold as I would have liked, and the only thing that saved it was sour cream.  It’s really too bad that I didn’t love the soup, because now I’m stuck with a vat full of the stuff…I might have to leave gift-wrapped tupperwares on my neighbors’ doorsteps.

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4 Responses to “Number 9: Borscht”

  1. Big Onion January 30, 2012 at 8:30 am #

    Beets have a pretty dominating flavor. I think if you’re not a fan of beets in general, you might not be a fan of borscht.

    The recipe I used on my blog was an older recipe from the 1800s, and it ended up being pretty freakin’ delicious. I made a stock from some beef bones, and I think that’s what made the real difference. In this recipe, I don’t think the sausage were cooked in the water long enough to really get a strong flavor or mouth feel that you’d normally get from a stock.

    Have you ever had roasted beets? I know plenty of folks who couldn’t tolerate a boiled or pickled beet, but absolutely loved roasted beets.

  2. Kelly @ Dare to be Domestic January 30, 2012 at 8:46 am #

    I have to give beets another try I’ve hated them since childhood but then again I also hated asparagus and brussel sprouts too and I eat them a lot now. P.S. I will have “Match Maker” stuck in my head now for the rest of the day! 😉

  3. Laura in Cancun January 30, 2012 at 10:46 am #

    I became a beet fan when I moved to Mexico! Love it on salads, and that soup looks pretty good, too.

  4. IntenseGuy February 2, 2012 at 11:21 am #

    A guy I used to work with ate cold borscht for lunch about once a week. I never cared for it warm – and cold was even less appealing. I’ve often wondered what the point of cold soup was………

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