“Cabbage? We don’t need no steeenkeeng cabbage!!!”, Chef Brown
not that I have anything against cabbage. Borscht with cabbage is a wholesome,
wintertime, proletariat type soup that can be delicious. But this is a more
gourmet recipe…one that would make…say…Nikita Khrushchev
take off his shoe and bang it on the table while shouting for another bowl!!
You will too!!
MORE! MORE!! BAM! BAM!! MORE!!! MORE!!!
This recipe is for about 6 servings. But I usually double or triple it because it freezes quite well.
1 onion, chopped
1 pound beets (or a little more if you like it beetier!), peeled and chopped. (Beets can be peeled after boiling them for a while and letting them cool down until cool to the touch. Some people like to bake them in the oven first instead.)
2 large granny smith apples
4 celery stalks chopped
1 red pepper chopped
3 oz. Crimini mushrooms chopped
3 oz. shitake mushrooms chopped
3 oz. Portobello mushrooms chopped
4 tbsp. butter
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
8 cups vegetable stock (or water)
1 tsp. cumin seeds
Pinch of dried thyme
3 large bay leaves
Juice from a fresh lemon
Salt and fresh ground pepper (to taste)
2/3 cups sour cream (optional for topping soup when serving)
Few sprigs fresh dill for garnish (optional)
Slowly warm the butter, oil and about a cup of stock in a large saucepan. Add chopped vegetables, mushrooms and apples. Cook for about 15 minutes on medium high heat occasionally shaking and/or stirring.
Stir in cumin seeds and cook for a minute or two. Add remaining stock, lemon juice, thyme, bay leaves and seasoning. Bring to a boil. Turn down heat, cover and gently simmer for 30 minutes.
At this point strain the vegetables, reserving the liquid. Place in a food processor or blender and puree. I use a hand held blender with large batches…just puree it altogether right in the saucepan. But you might need to strain the soup again before serving when this approach is taken. It’s a pain…but then again so is transferring a large amount of liquid to a food processor.
Return everything to the sauce pan if a food processor is used. Reheat. Check the seasoning and adjust to your liking if necessary. Serve with a dollop of sour cream and/or sprigs of dill.
This recipe is ripe for variation…adding more beets, more or less mushrooms, etc. Hell! You could even add cabbage if you wanted to!