Update: Submitted to Weekend Herb Blogging #199 (hosted by Mele Cotte)
Time to be honest: I'm not a big fan of brothy soups. I prefer my soups thick and smooth. The need for chewing should be minimal. That's not to say I don't like a brothy soup every now and again (can anyone say miso?), but they generally don't form part of my top ten, soup-wise. And apologies to my Eastern European counterparts, but a soup consisting of cabbage and beetroot chunks floating in a thin broth really didn't sound too appealing.
But I am ready to retract my words. Having always wanted to try borscht, because, in spite of everything I said above, it IS a classic, I finally (reluctantly I might add) made it tonight. After a day of movies, pizza and popcorn it seemed like the necessary evi... um... healthy option. Everything was thrown into the pot, without much hope as to the outcome. Even when I dished up and took the photo I still wasn't convinced.
Until that first mouthful.
I was wrong. SO wrong. I do like brothy soups. Or at least I liked this one. A LOT. The ingredients come together beautifully in a lovely rosy, soul-soothing way. Oh borscht, I underestimated you! You are hereby cordially invited to take up residence in my top ten.
Adapted (ever so slightly) from Nami-Nami (don't you just love that name!)Serves 4 - 6
2 tbsp olive oil500g (1 lb) beetroot, scrubbed and julienned2 large carrots, scrubbed and julienned2 medium onions, peeled, quartered and sliced thinly300g (about 1 1/2 cups) sauerkraut (you can also use regular cabbage)5 cups boiling water1 stock cube (preferably vegetable, but I used chicken without any problems)1 tsp sugar1 tbsp lemon juice (plus extra to taste)1 tsp dried dilla sprinkle of caraway seedssour cream, to serve (about 1 tbsp each)
1. Heat olive oil in a large pot. Add beetroot, carrots and onions and saute over medium heat for a few minutes.2. Add cabbage, stock cube and water, cover and simmer over medium-low heat for about 45 minutes, until vegetables are cooked through.3. Add sugar, lemon juice, dill and caraway and season to taste with salt and pepper if necessary (I found I didn't need any).4. Ladle into bowls, serving the soup warm with a dollop of sour cream and an extra sprinkle of dill and caraway seeds.
Nutritional info (per serving): Calories 164.2, Total Fat 8.3 g, Saturated Fat 2.5 g, Polyunsaturated Fat 0.6 g, Monounsaturated Fat 4.7 g, Cholesterol 5.3 mg, Sodium 651 mg, Potassium 294.5 mg, Total Carbohydrate 19.3 g, Dietary Fiber 5.0 g, Sugars 9.0 g, Protein 3.4 g
Good source of: Vitamin A 71.7 %, Vitamin C 25.0 %