My mum came round the other day and handed me a plastic bag. It contained a couple of bunches of beetroot and a small bag of potatoes. I looked at her quizzically. "I was going to make you some borscht," she explained, "but I couldn't be bothered, so I just brought you the ingredients instead." I was still mulling over what to do with the beetroots and whether to obey my mother's instructions, when my veggie box turned up on the doorstep with another instalment of beetroots. Apparently somebody up there was trying to tell me something.
There are lots of different types of borscht: Russian, Polish, Ukrainian; hot or cold; meaty or meat-free etc. This version is adapted from the one in Evelyn Rose's New Complete International Jewish Cookbook.
1 kg fresh beetroots
1.5 l chicken stock
juice of 1/2 a lemon
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Peel and very finely chop the beetroots, carrot and onion. Put in a large saucepan with the stock, lemon juice, salt and black pepper, bring to a boil, cover, turn heat to minimum and simmer for 30 minutes until the vegetables are soft.
- With a stick blender, blend the soup in the pan until it is smooth.
- Add a generous spoonful of cream cheese to each bowl of soup as you serve.