tabitha made borscht (beet soup)
early during my last trip to st. petersburg i had the most amazing soup. it wasn't like any soup i'd ever had. i decided to make it my quest to try every version of borscht possible during my month long trip. i told everyone that i loved borscht and russians being very proud, dinner invites for borscht ensued. at every restaurant i ordered borscht. if i understand properly borscht just means soup--usually with beets.
i focussed on what i liked about each version and whenever appropriate asked what the ingredients were. huge dinner discussions surrounded borscht and homemade vodka recipes and rituals. broscht is a wonderful lens of russian culture. you might be thinking that i'm weird and obsessive and you'd be right--but my version of weird obsession has brought me great pleasure.
my borscht recipe derived from this study is not really a recipe at all. only a set of rules--my rules not really russian rules.
#1 my borscht is beet soup and must be a soup (not a stew) and contain beets as the main ingredient.
#2 the broth must be of beef and any added meat must be beef. sliced pan seared tri-tip being the best choice but seared ground beef will do.
#3 fresh dill is a requirement.
#4 the rest of the ingredients like to be root based vegetables. carrots, turnips, beet tops, onions, garlic, and leeks. other veggies that we like in there are swiss chard and sometimes celery.
#5 lastly a large dollop of fresh sour creme and fresh chopped dill on top.
last nights dinner was all local to our farm. from the fresh creme, garden beets, fresh dill, to the *merlin roast that tabitha cubed and pan seared. black pepper being the exception.
our kids love it. tristan kept saying over and over "this is my favorite"
tabitha just informed me that we have an official recipe for this at garlic pimpernel please enjoy.
the pear trick from the above recipe is something that a great chef shared with me from one of my favorite restaurants in S.F. and is a wonderful addition to any soup. yes, if it's not obvious, i generally love all soup.